Local residents said shops were looted and people attacked by Oromo youth who stormed through streets targeting businesses and homes of ethnic minorities. The violence escalated on Saturday after two days of sporadic attacks in several areas of the Oromiya region’s Burayu district, northwest of Addis Ababa, residents said.
“Mobs of ethnic Oromo youth then marched here in Ashwa Meda and attacked our homes and looted businesses chanting ‘leave our land’,” said Hassan Ibrahim, a trader in an ethnically diverse part of the district. “By night time, there were several dead bodies along the roads.”
Alemayehu Ejigu, head of Oromiya region’s police commission, said more than 70 people had been arrested and denied accusations that police were slow to respond.
“They (mobs) do not represent anyone – they had no reason other than theft. Anyone has the constitutional right to reside in Oromiya or anywhere.”