ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Eleven people have been killed in clashes in Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region as the country continues to experience anti-government protests that at times lead to ethnic violence, said regional officials said Sunday.
The Oromia and Amhara regional states spokesmen issued statements after a week of unrest in Oromia that reportedly caused major business disruptions and the burning of several vehicles and properties in various locations.
“Eight ethnic Oromos and three Amharas were killed in the Buno Bedele zone of the Oromia region in violence perpetrated by bodies that are trying to sabotage the peace building process that we are embarking on,” Addis Arega, spokesman of the Oromia region, said in a Facebook post. “The situation is now under control and those suspected of orchestrating the violence are arrested.”
Reports of the latest killings in the Oromia region came amid widespread social media accusations against the government for running an ethnic- based administration on this east African nation of more than 100 million people. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has not recently commented on the unrest that is engulfing major towns in Oromia, including those close to the capital Addis Ababa.
“Besides the eleven killings, we have witnessed the destruction of properties and displacement of citizens,” spokesman of for the Amhara region, Nigusu Tilahun said on Sunday.
In recent weeks, continuing conflict between ethnic Oromos and Somalis led to the killing of several dozen people and the displacement of tens of thousands of Oromo people.
Oromia is the largest of Ethiopia’s federal states and has been experiencing anti-government protests since November 2015. Rights groups claimed several hundred people were killed in a government crackdown. Ethiopia lifted a state of emergency in August that lasted for 10 months.
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