Ethiopia under state of emergency after prime minister resigns

Ethiopia declares state of emergency martial law
Ethiopia says state of emergency after PM resigned will last six months
Author

18 February, 2018

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn offered to resign on Thursday in what he said an effort to advance reforms aimed at easing the country's political unrest.

Quoting an unnamed source "close to the government", the Addis Standard newspaper reported that the Council was debating whether to make the measure span three or six months.

The government previously imposed a state of emergency in October 2016, which was lifted in August previous year.

A government statement said the state of emergency, which Siraj said must receive legislative approval within 15 days, was declared to "protect the constitutional order and to protect peace and security".

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Defense Minister Siraj Fegesa is also from the SNNP. "The state of emergency was tested a year ago".

But anti-government sentiment remained in the two regions and the analysts believe Hailemariam's response to the protests eventually led to his resignation, a first in modern Ethiopia.

The US embassy statement said that "the challenges facing Ethiopia, whether to democratic reform, economic growth, or lasting stability, are best addressed through inclusive discourse and political processes, rather than through the imposition of restrictions". The council added it would release more details on Saturday. Those released included several prominent opposition leaders and well-known journalist Eskinder Nega, a critic of the government.

The Africa's second most populous nation had witnessed a ten-month state of emergency since October 2016, following the Ethiopian parliament's decision to extend the initial six-month period by four months. The violence damaged the country's reputation as an investment destination and posed one of the biggest challenges to the ruling coalition since it came to power in the early 1990s.


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