Athletes united, but rival fans show Ethiopia’s divides


Athletes united, but rival fans show Ethiopia’s divides
Athletes united, but rival fans show Ethiopia’s divides

DOHA, Qatar (AP) The Ethiopian supporters are the loudest in the stadium at the track world championships — because they’re trying to drown each other out.

As Ethiopian runners clean up on the track and celebrate together, the fans are divided into two rival political camps.

One group displays pictures of past monarchs like Emperor Haile Selassie and flies an older version of the national flag, one which some Ethiopians consider less inclusive. The other fans champion a long-marginalized ethnic group, which produces many of the nation’s great distance runners.

Around 100 fans from the Oromo ethnic group, many of them migrant workers living in Qatar, fly the flag of the once-banned Oromia Liberation Front at every distance race at the championships.

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Solomon Yimer

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