Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ethiopia emergency to last six months


Ethiopia said Saturday that a state of emergency will remain in place for six months, as the authorities move to quell "chaos and unruliness". The council of ministers declared the country's second emergency decree in two years on Friday evening. It capped a tumultuous week that saw Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resign, a strike in the country's largest region and a massive prisoner amnesty.

"The state of emergency will be for six months and will be approved by parliament," state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) wrote on Facebook, quoting Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa. The government had cited "ethnic-based clashes" and "chaos and unruliness" as the reasons for the declaration. "To be able to protect the constitutional system, declaring a state of emergency has become necessary", EBC said, quoting a government communique.

While the decree is already in effect, parliamentary approval for the requested six-month period appears likely as the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies control all the seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives.

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