Elections, which were due to take place in August, have been delayed due to the pandemic as a new date is set amid further violence.
Ethiopia will hold parliamentary elections on June 5, 2021, its National Electoral Council announced on Friday, after postponing the vote for August this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The president of the winning party becomes Prime Minister.
News of the vote comes as Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, grapples with outbreaks of deadly violence.
On Thursday, the army killed 42 gunmen accused of participating in a massacre in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said he was sending forces to Benishangul-Gumuz, which borders Sudan, the day after unidentified assailants torched houses and killed more than 100 people in a village.
The region is home to several ethnic groups.
In recent years, residents of the neighboring Amhara region have started to settle in the area, prompting some Gumuz to complain that fertile land is being taken away from them, experts say.
Ethiopia has a federal system comprising 10 regions with the freedom to set certain taxes, manage security forces and pass laws.
Ahmed took office in 2018 and accelerated democratic and economic reforms that loosened the state’s iron grip on regional rivalries.
But he is now under pressure to contain the violence plaguing his nation.
Ethiopia’s state-run News Agency reported that five senior officials, including a federal minister of state, have been arrested over security concerns in Benishangul-Gumuz.
The development came as the Ethiopian military is also fighting a rebel force in the separate northern Tigray region, with a massive deployment of troops that has raised fears of a security vacuum in other areas.
The war, which is believed to have killed thousands of people, sent more than 45,000 refugees to Sudan, displaced many more to Tigray and deepened suffering in an area where 600,000 people were already dependent on food aid even before the start of the crisis. conflict.
Ethiopia is also experiencing troubles in the Oromia region and faces long-standing security threats from Somali fighters along its porous eastern border.