Over 1,000 suspects have been arrested in Ethiopia’s Sebeta town located near the capital, Addis Ababa. The suspects are believed to be responsible for the violence and property damage to businesses in the region.
The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate quotes mayor of the town, Ararsa Merdasa as having confirmed the arrests. ‘‘Only 40 to 50 suspects were natives of the town, while the majority were from other parts of Oromia region,’‘ Merdasa said.
The mayor added that even though more arrests were expected, if there were any innocent people among the 1,000 suspects, they would be released once investigations were concluded.
According to the mayor, residents of the town played a significant role in identifying the suspects and the type of offences that they had committed. He reiterated the resolve of the government to ensure durable peace in the region.
Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on October 9 to curb unrest in the restive regions of Oromia and Amhara, these regions with the country’s largest ethnic populations have seen a wave of anti-government protests since last year.
Businesses that experienced massive losses after their premises and other properties were destroyed during the protests, are reportedly attending a “peace conference” in Sebata, and called for better security, FBC reports.