ADDIS ABABA, July 10 (Xinhua)-- Clashes in Ethiopia's Benishangul Gumuz regional state, located in the western part of the country has left at least five people dead, an Ethiopian official said on Wednesday.
Speaking to Xinhua, Abera Bayeta, Head of Benishangul Gumuz region peacebuilding and security office, said the clashes occurred over the weekend in Ehetemariam village, Mandura locality, Metekel zone of the region leaving at least five people dead and 11 others injured.
Bayeta said the clashes were caused by the stabbing injury of a local official, with the official's relatives taking revenge on those who they suspected were behind the stabbing incident.
He further said local and federal security forces have been deployed in the area to prevent a recurrence of the weekend violence.
Bayeta declined to say whether the weekend violence had ethnic overtones, although the clashes area was the scene of ethnic violence in recent weeks.
In May and early June, violence between Gumuz and Amhara ethnic groups in Benishangul regional states left at least 31 dead and thousands of others displaced.
Ethiopia follows an ethnic federalism model, which has been credited with giving self-governance rights to the more than 80 ethnic groups that make up Ethiopia's estimated 105 million plus population.
However, critics claim that the ethnic federalism model magnifies ethnic diversity at the expense of national unity, leading to occasional deadly ethnic clashes.