Ethiopia says emergency rule to last six months

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's surprise resignation came after sustained anti-government protests in the East African country.

Desalegn said he hopes his resignation will advance reforms at a time when "many lives have been lost, people have been displaced and property damaged, and there are efforts to harm investments".

Earlier in the week, widespread protests in Ethiopia's Oromia region shut down traffic as demonstrators held rallies calling for reforms and opposing the imprisonment of an opposition leader, who was released from custody on Tuesday.

Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa told a press conference: "the state of emergency will last for six months, and it must be presented to House of People's Representatives and approved within 15 days". The ruling EPRDF coalition controls all the seats in parliament.

The state of emergency, the embassy said, "undermines recent positive steps toward creating a more inclusive political space" and sends a message to the Ethiopian people that "they are not being heard".

The 10-month decree succeeded in quelling the unrest, which killed hundreds and resulted in tens of thousands of arrests, despite criticism from rights groups.

Pressure on the ruling coalition, in power since 1991, began building in 2015 when protests against an urban development plan for the capital Addis Ababa sparked larger demonstrations demanding more freedom and civil rights.

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.

The declaration came after the Ethiopian Government as of late discharged many political detainees, including some noticeable restriction individuals.

Latest News