Ethiopia emergency to last six months

Todd Singleton
February 18, 2018

Numerous prisoners took part in anti-government protests in 2015 and 2016 in Amhara and Oromiya, the country's two most populous provinces.

Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency following unrest in the restive Oromia and Amhara regional states, according to a state television broadcast.

"The government has previously made several efforts to curtail violence, but lives have continued to be lost, many have been displaced and economic infrastructure has been damaged", Fegessa said.

However, "the state of emergency will be declared this morning as the security situation in the country is getting volatile", said the source.

The state of emergency, which effectively bans protests, will be presented for lawmakers' approval within 15 days.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his surprise resignation in a televised speech on Thursday, saying he wanted to smooth the way for further reforms.

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The current state of emergency has to be approved by the national parliament, which is now on recess, giving the council 15 days to enforce the emergency rule until parliament reconvenes. The measure led to the arrest of more than 22,000 people before it was lifted in August.

Rights groups alleged that people were beaten and subjected to arbitrary detentions.

Details of parts of the civilian constitution to be suspended will be announced at the end of the ministerial council's meeting, but it is likely to be not much different than the October 2016 nine month state of emergency, which was extended by additional four months.

It is unclear who will take over from Hailemariam or when that decision will be made.

The United States is now warning its embassy personnel to suspend all travel outside of the capital.

The new state of emergency will create a group of people with conflicting interests, Befekadu said. "It brings temporary silence but not normalcy".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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