File photo shows locals attending a commemoration in Adwa town, northern Ethiopia on March 2, 2018. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's central Oromia regional state announced on Thursday it would pardon 7,611 prisoners.
The statement didn't mention the identity of the prisoners or the charges they were imprisoned for.
In a press statement, the Oromia regional state Communication Bureau, said the pardon of the detainees which include 428 females is intended to help widen the political space in Oromia.
Oromia regional state has previously pardoned 23,085 detainees in three phases starting June 2017, as part of efforts to create national consensus and social harmony.
Oromia regional state, which along with Amhara regional state, accounts for about 65 percent of Ethiopia's estimated 100 million population, has witnessed persistent protests since 2016, over allegations of political and economic marginalization.
The protests have shaken the hold of the ruling coalition Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which has been ruling Ethiopia for close to 27 years.
The ruling party is a coalition of four parties that are Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People Democratic Movement (SEPDM).