364 Ethiopians arrested in connection with deadly ethnic violence

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-23 21:42:05|Editor: xuxin
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ADDIS ABABA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian police announced on Sunday they have arrested 364 individuals for their suspected role in recent ethnic violence that left at least 26 people dead.

In a joint press statement, the Addis Ababa and Oromia Police, said the individuals are under custody for ethnic violence last weekend in Burayu town, on the outskirts of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa that left at least 26 people dead, reported state affiliated media outlet Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).

Ethiopian police on Saturday brought before the Ethiopia Federal High Court in Addis Ababa, 219 of the suspects for preliminary hearings on their suspected role in the ethnic violence.

The suspects are in custody on suspicion of involvement in various crimes including murder, bodily assault, arson, rape and robbery.

Deadly ethnic violence last weekend in Burayu town, near Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, between local ethnic Oromos and other ethnicities left at least 26 people dead and around 4,500 people displaced.

The weekend attack followed recent clashes in Addis Ababa among local residents and youth from surrounding ethnic Oromo areas who flocked to the city to celebrate the return of the exiled rebel leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) group that has been fighting insurgency for self-determination of Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, the Oromos.

Addis Ababa is an ethnically-mixed city of around 4 million people, but is situated within the larger Oromo-dominated Oromia regional state.

On Monday this week, thousands of people took to the streets in Addis Ababa to protest the killing of civilians and property damage, urging the government to take action and protect civilians.

During the protest, five people were shot dead amid confrontations between police and angry demonstrators.

Ethiopia Federal Police Commissioner Zeynu Jemal said there were attempts to loot property under the guise of demonstrations and that some "dangerous vagrants" also tried to snatch weapons from police officers.