Unrest in Nekemte city in Ethiopia’s Oromia regional state has left three people dead, regional officials said on Tuesday.
Addisu Arega, spokesperson for Oromia regional state, said 16 people have been apprehended over suspected involvement in the unrest that occurred on Sunday and Monday.
Nekemte city police chief Getachew Yitana told local media Radio Fana that 10 people have been injured in the unrest, which he said was caused by social media rumors of illegal firearms in civilians’ home.
Yitana said that the city has returned to normalcy on Tuesday.
He admitted that two of the dead are ethnic Amharas and one ethnic Oromo.
Ethnic tensions are increasing in Oromia, where the region’s main ethnic group Oromos have been protesting since 2015 over alleged economic and political disenfranchisement by successive governments.
Although martial law declared in October 2016, and later lifted in August this year, had calmed Oromia, renewed deadly anti-government protests earlier this month has led to massive displacement.
The protests have until recently largely spared ethnic minorities that some Oromos accuse of unfair enrichment from the regional state’s resources.
Ethnic tensions and clashes in Ethiopia tend to focus over the exploitation of the resources of the area and the ownership of land.