Unrest in Ethiopia’s Oromia state leaves 11 dead

ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) — Unrest in Ethiopia’s central Oromia regional state has left 11 people dead in recent days, regional officials said on Sunday.

Spokesmen for Oromia and Amhara regional states have issued statements on a week of unrest in Oromia that reportedly caused major business disruptions and burning of various locations.

“Three Amharas and eight ethnic Oromos were killed in Buno Bedele zone of the Oromia regional violence perpetrated by bodies trying to create division between the two ethnic groups,” Addisu Arega, spokesperson of the Oromia regional state, said in a Facebook post.

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He said the situation has calmed down and individuals suspected of orchestrating the violence have been arrested.

Spokesperson for the Amhara regional state Nigusu Tilahun also said in a Facebook post that an undetermined number of people have been displaced by the violence.

Oromia has seen large anti-government protests by ethnic Oromos since the end of 2015 that have left hundreds dead.

The protests have largely left unaffected ethnic minorities living in Oromia regional state until now, save for periodic flare-ups.

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Oromos, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group making up a third of the country’s 100 million population, have complained of decades of economic, political and social marginalization by successive governments.

Martial law declared in October 2016 and lifted in August 2017 helped calm Oromia, but renewed anti-government protests earlier this month claimed several lives and caused property damages.

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