A number of social media websites and apps have been restricted in Ethiopia amid rising religious tensions in the country.

NetBlocks revealed that several websites have seen restrictions placed on state Internet provider Ethio Telecom's network, with NetBlocks citing aggregated reachability statistics collected from an initial set of 20 vantage points.

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Users in the country struggled to access Facebook, Messenger, TikTok, and Telegram on February 9.

It comes as the country faces anti-government protests over an attempt to split the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewhado Church.

The protests in Ethiopia have seen 30 people die since February 4, reports Reuters. The country has a history of restricting social media during anti-government protests, doing so in 2020, following the killing of a popular singer from Oromiya.

State-owned Ethio had long been the only mobile operator in the market, but the country recently saw the launch of Kenya-based Safaricom last year, while the government is keen for a third operator to enter the country.

Meanwhile, Ethio Telecom resumed the process of selling a 40 percent stake in the company in November. With a population of over 118 million people, Ethiopia is one of the continent's largest mobile markets.

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