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Ethiopia Political Unrest Worries Immigrants In Atlanta

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.
In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.
Credit Associated Press

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Members of Atlanta’s Ethiopian community are watching the recent political unrest in their home country with concern.

Hundreds have been killed in a wave of anti-government protests in Ethiopia. It led the Ethiopian government to issue a six-month state of emergency over the weekend.

“It is a very scary situation, let me put it that way,” said Tekla Tessema, who left Ethiopia 30 years ago.

Tessema now lives in metro Atlanta, which has one of the largest populations of Ethiopian immigrants in the U.S., according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Tessema worries now not just about his family members who remain in Ethiopia, but about the whole country.

“The stability of the country is in question now. If we continue like this, the unfortunate things will happen that we saw around Syria,” Tessema said.

Syria is in the midst of a five-year-long civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

In Ethiopia, the conflict is between the country’s two major ethnic groups and the minority-led government.

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