Ethiopia declares another state of emergency after PM quits


Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his retirement on Thursday.

Desalegn’s surprise resignation comes little more than six months since Ethiopia lifted its last state of emergency, following years of unrest and anti-government protests. The government says the current state of emergency will last six months although its previous measure went on to last ten months before being lifted.

New state of emergency in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s new state of emergency came into effect on Friday and the country’s minister of defence, Siraj Fegessa, says the measure will be in effect for six months. Under the state of emergency, a ban on all protests is being implemented and the publication of material “that could incite and sow discord”.

“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 told Reuters.

Law enforcers are given the freedom to detain anyone suspected of violating the terms of the order and the ability to search people and properties without a court warrant. Displaying signs or using gestures “which could stir up violence” are also prohibited under the state of emergency, according to state media.

Featured image: “2014-Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister” flickr photo by United Nations Industrial Development Organization shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.