The authorities in Ethiopia have banned parallel rallies by supporters of the Orthodox Church and those backing a breakaway group that were planned to be held in the capital, Addis Ababa.
In a statement, the Security and Intelligence Task Force said no permissions were issued for the rallies and warned citizens to keep off the venues.
The Orthodox Church is the country’s largest religious denomination.
It’s highest decision making body, the synod, had called for the rally in Addis Ababa’s main square to protest against alleged government’s support to breakaway clergy.
The breakaway group also announced it would also hold rallies on the same day.
The breakaway clergy accused the church of maintaining a system of linguistic and cultural hegemony in which congregations in Oromia are not served in their native languages.
The church denies the accusation.
The security task force blamed unnamed foreign enemies and domestic forces for exacerbating the problem. —BBC