FT: Ethiopia declares state of emergency in effort to quell unrest

Ethiopia declares state of emergency in effort to quell unrest

https://www.ft.com/content/2678d6a2-134a-11e8-8cb6-b9ccc4c4dbbb
Fears for fast-growing economy prompt action the day after Hailemariam’s resignation

Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary-general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, celebrate his release from prison in Adama on Wednesday © Reuters

Ethiopia declares state of emergency in effort to quell unrest Fears for fast-growing economy prompt action the day after Hailemariam’s resignation Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary-general of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, celebrate his release from prison in Adama on Wednesday

© Reuters

John Aglionby, East Africa Correspondent

Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency in an effort to quell almost three years of often violent anti-government protests and safeguard an economy that has been suffering from the unrest, the state broadcaster announced. The declaration was made on Friday night, the day after Hailemariam Desalegn resigned as prime minister, citing the need to secure peace and guarantee democracy in the country. No successor has been announced yet. The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation did not say what restrictions the state of emergency would include or how long they would last. It said the council of ministers decided the state of emergency was required because of “violations of the constitution”, protests that had caused deaths and injuries, and “violations of the security of the state that are a threat to the common good of the people, the government, the private sector and the rule of law”. It added that the economy, which has been one of the fastest growing in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade, was “hurting”. It is the second time the authoritarian Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which has ruled the country for 26 years, has imposed a state of emergency since protests erupted in 2015. The previous restrictions lasted from October 2016 until August 2017. Last month the government appeared to accept that repression was not stopping the protesters, who are demanding greater democracy, adherence to the rule of law and an end to ethnic marginalisation by the ruling Tigrayan elite.

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