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Oromo people march, protest in downtown Minneapolis

A protest against the Ethiopian government took place in downtown Minneapolis Thursday, closing roads as it makes its way through the city.

Members of Minnesota’s Oromo community gathered in the Cedar Riverside area before making their way downtown.

Protester Amy Van Steenwyk posted on Twitter they picketed Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office on Washington Avenue South, calling on the U.S. Government to condemn the killing of Oromo people.

It is one in a series of 19 protests being held across the world this month, according to a Facebook post by the Oromo Community of Minnesota.

The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, with their population accounting for 35 percent of the total number living in the African nation.

According to news outlet DW, Ethiopia has been gripped by a wave of anti-government protests since November, amid fears among the Oromo people that the government is planning to seize their land, and hundreds of people have been killed in the protests.

Minnesota is home to a high concentration of Oromo, around 40,000 calling the state home, according to the Pioneer Press, and most of them are in the Twin Cities.

The Oromo, both Christian and Muslim, have been calling for help from the U.S. to stop their oppression at the hands of the Ethiopian ruling elite – saying they have been shut out of top jobs in government and industry because of their ethnicity, the newspaper reports.

A similar protest is expected to be held in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

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