Ethiopian security forces have arrested 69 people for their roles in recent ethnic violence in western Ethiopia, state media outlet Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) reported on Friday.

AMMA reported among the 69 suspects arrested are eight government officials, with investigations continuing to identify other government officials suspected of involvement in recent ethnic violence.

AMMA further reported the Ethiopia Ministry of Peace (MoP) is working with officials from Benishangul and Amhara regional states to arrest other remaining suspects in the recent ethnic violence.

Ethnic violence along the border areas of Ethiopia’s Benishangul Gumuz and Amhara regional state which started in April and continued to early May left dozens of people dead and tens of thousands displaced.

The ethnic violence which centered in Dangur locality, Metekel zone of Benishangul Gumuz regional state and neighboring Jawi zone of Amhara regional state involved members of the Gumuz and the Amhara ethnic groups.

Ethiopia follows an ethnic federalism model, which has been credited with giving self-governance rights to the more than 80 ethnic groups that make 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. Enditem

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