Ethiopia ends state of emergency


Ethiopia’s parliament on Friday voted to end the country’s state emergency, ten months after imposing it.

Defence Minister, Siraj Fegessa, told the Council of Ministers in Addis Ababa that security in Ethiopia has improved enough that local authorities can now handle the situation. Parliament then voted to lift the country’s state of emergency.


State of emergency lifted

Parliament’s vote to lift Ethiopia’s state of emergency means police powers and social restrictions will return to normal for the first time since October last year. More than 7,700 people remain in custody after sweeping arrests were carried out during the first few months of the suspension of constitutional rights.

More than half of those are from the Oromia region, where the majority of protests that prompted the government to impose a state of emergency took place.

Protests initially broke out in the Oromia region before turning violent and spreading to other parts of the country. Security forces responded with force, firing upon unarmed crowds on multiple occasions before the government stepped in to declare a state of emergency.


More than 3,000 people facing charges

The government says more than 3,000 people face various security crimes charges, plus another 700 people being investigated for the possession of weapons. Since November 2015, 21,000 people have been arrested in relation to anti-government protests and at least 940 have been killed.

The government says more than 10,000 have since been released after being sent to “rehabilitation camps”.

Meanwhile, some opponents in Ethiopia insist the concerns that drive them to protest have not been addressed.


Featured image: Twitter

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.