14 June 2018

Somalia: Ethnic Clashes in Southern Ethiopia Leave One Dead

Ethnic clashes in Ethiopia's Southern regional state left one dead, a regional official said on Wednesday.

Fetu Seman, Chief of Gurage zone, Southern regional state, said the clashes which started on Tuesday and continued to Wednesday centred around Wolkite city, the capital city of Gurage zone left one dead and seven others injured, reported local media outlet Radio Fana.

Wolkite city, a major commercial hub in Southern Ethiopia is contested by ethnic Kebenas and ethnic Gurages.

Seman also said an unspecified number of private homes and businesses have been damaged during the clashes, with local elders and security forces currently undertaking efforts to restore calm in the city.

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 the country's estimated 100 million people.

However, critics say the ethnic federalism model magnifies ethnic diversity at the expense of national unity, leading to occasional ethnic tension and clashes.

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