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Sidama Zone detains 226 in relation to deadly conflict

The Sidama Zone Administration has detained 226 suspects who were said to have been involved directly or indirect in the recent violence that rocked the city of Hawassa resulting in the death of 10 people, caused severe injuries to nine people and minor injuries to 80 people, The Reporter has learnt.

The conflict had also resulted in the displacement of 3,500 individuals.

“We have detained suspects involved directly or indirectly in the recent violence in Hawassa and we will continue to assess and identify whoever is involved in the conflict,” Aklilu Adula, head of the Sidama Zone Administration told The Reporter.

According to the head of the administrator, the conflict does not by any means represent the people of Sidama and it was perpetuated by individuals. He also added that the Administration will work to further identify if there are any officials involved in the violence and bring them to justice.

The Zonal Administration has also established a task force which will reinstate the displaced and return the looted property.

Aklilu also said that he was frustrated by the mainstream and social media which has depicted this conflict to be an ethnic one between the Wolaiyta and Sidama ethnic groups, which he said were both suppressed during the past regimes.

But, Aklilu said that the resignation of the Zonal and Woreda administrators which was demanded by the Prime Minister during his visit to the Southern Region will follow the political decision-making procedure. Hence, it is not up to the individual officer to relieve himself or herself from their duties given to them by the public.

A relatively calm region, the South has seen three conflict flashpoints in a span of two weeks: Hawassa, Wolaiyta Sodo, and Wolkite towns, which were all said to be ethnically charged.

All of the conflicts in the region resulted in property damages that were are yet be accounted for fully.