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Ethiopia detains 1,200 after Addis clashes

Addis Ababa,  Tuesday

Ethiopia has detained 1,200 people over the deadly political violence that broke out a fortnight ago, police say. These are the first mass arrests since reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April.

At least 28 people died in clashes near the capital, Addis Ababa, following the return of exiled leaders of a former rebel group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) on September 15. Rights group Amnesty International has called for the prisoners’ release.

In addition to those held in connection with the violence, a further 1,400 people were taken into custody following raids on places where people gamble, smoke shisha or chew the narcotic leaf khat. Most of those have been released, Addis Ababa police chief Maj Gen Degfie Bedi is quoted as saying by the state-linked Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

Those arrested for the violence have been sent to Tolay military camp, which is known for providing what is called “rehabilitation training”.

In recent years, Ethiopia has been hit by a wave of protests led by Oromos, who have been complaining of political and economic marginalisation.    -BBC

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