Somali Region’s Communications Affairs Bureau said the detainees who are imprisoned in the region’s jails were pardoned as per the decision of Somali regional state president.

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―Ethiopia’s Somali regional state said Thursday it has pardoned 1,500 detainees as part of efforts to help reconciliation and create national consensus.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the Ethiopia Somali Regional State Communications Affairs Bureau said the detainees who are imprisoned in the region’s jails were pardoned as per the decision of Somali regional state president Abdi Mohamoud Omar.

The statement also called on Somali prisoners jailed in federal prisons to be given the opportunity for pardons just like what prisoners from other regions have recently been provided.

The Ethiopian government has since January released thousands of detainees from federal prisons.

The released detainees largely come from Oromia, Amhara and Southern regional states, which have been scenes of incessant protests since 2016 over complaints of political and economic marginalization.

The unrest has largely avoided the Somali regional state, which a decade ago was a scene of fierce fighting between a rebel group Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ethiopian army.

The ONLF rebel group made international headlines in April 24, 2007 when it launched a deadly raid on an oil field in the Somali regional state of the country.

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