Ethiopia pardons 361 suspects of violence last year – Xinhua

ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia’s Southern regional state on Monday pardoned 361 suspects who had been charged with involvement in deadly riots in October 2016.

Seifu Keneso, Attorney General for Justice Office at Southern regional state, said the individuals were pardoned to encourage them to be productive members of the society.

However, 141 individuals suspected of grave offences including murder, severe bodily harm and rapes will have their criminal cases continue.

Parts of Southern regional state was convulsed in deadly ethnic riots in October 2016 which left at least 34 people dead.

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The disturbance centered around Gedeo zone of Southern regional state saw ethnic Gedeos attack the properties of other ethnicities which they accuse of unfairly exploiting their resources.

Gedeo zone is a key coffee producing region in Ethiopia earning the country millions of U.S. dollars in coffee exports annually.

Coffee is Ethiopia’s top export commodity that earned the country 866 million dollars during the Ethiopian Fiscal Year 2016/17 that ended July 9.

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