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Why is the Ethiopian diaspora so influential?

During a year of anti-government protests throughout Ethiopia, its global diaspora, particularly that in the US, has been deeply involved - and not just vocally, writes Addis Ababa-based journalist James Jeffrey.

Twitter and Facebook have been blocked since a six-month state of emergency was imposed last month as the government tries to restore order across the country's two most populous regions of Oromia and Amhara.

There are also internet blackouts, primarily targeting mobile phone data, which is how most Ethiopians get online - and is for many residents of the capital, Addis Ababa, the most frustrating effect of the security clamp down.

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