Eleven dead in Ethiopian ethnic clashes


Ethnic clashes killed 11 people last week in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region, a regional government official said, the latest unrest in a province wracked by violence in 2015 and 2016.

Nearly 700 people died last year during one period of violence in Ethiopia’s largest region and other areas, according to a parliament-mandated investigation.

The unrest forced government to impose a nine-month state of emergency lifted in August. Sporadic protests have taken place since then.

Violence broke out last week in two districts in the province after protests led to clashes between ethnic Oromos and Amharas, a spokesman for the region’s administration said.
“Eight Oromos and three Amharas died,” spokesman Addisu Arega Kitessa said in a statement.

The previous unrest was provoked by a development scheme for Addis Ababa dissidents said amounted to land grabs. Broader anti-government demonstrations followed, over politics and human rights abuses.

Violence included attacks on businesses, many foreign-owned, including farms growing flowers for export.

Separately, clashes along the border between the Oromiya and Somali regions last month displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

The area has been plagued by sporadic violence for decades. A referendum in 2004 to determine the status of disputed settlements failed to ease tensions.