Adugna Gamachu: The second state of emergency in Ethiopia

The second state of emergency in Ethiopia

Adugna Gamachu

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Photo: The Reporter, Ethiopia

In my previous post known as “The hunger for independence in Oromo land” I tried to point out the effect of state of emergency on basic human rights. In the period of less than a year Ethiopian government announced the second state of emergency. The second state of emergency is announced on 17 February 2018 after unexpected Prime Minister Hailemariam resignation as pressure mounted on the ruling coalition parties.

TPLF government only lifted the previous state of emergency few months ago in last August following ten months of crack down on human rights, arbitrary arrest of 29,000 people, mass killing, curfews and restriction on movements. Adding another state of emergency is like adding salt on an open wound, which is not cured, yet making it very difficult and unlikely for the government to practice the previous control.

The previous mismanagement of human rights, land grab, dislocation of farmers and detention of political figures by the government is resulted in the consecutive protest in the two largest region of the country “Oromia and Amhara” since 2015. Failure to give proper answer to the demand of the protestors and brutal crackdown on them resulted in violent protest and government’s announcement of the previous state of emergency in October 2016 that brought no peace and stability to the country rather than making things worse than before.

It is obvious that the ruling party is facing undeniable truth of inside breakdown within its coalition that forced the prime minister to resign and resulted announcement of the second state of emergency. In his resignation the prime minister announced that his resignation helps to facilitate efforts towards political reform that started by releasing political prisoners. But governments announcement of state of emergency not only jeopardizes the regimes apparent intent to institute democratic reforms but it also initiate citizens to pit against security forces and it is already lead to more violence and not stability.

The newly announced state of emergency already met with fierce opposition from various regions and cities of the country. Citizens have protested against it in Oromia region in cities like Nekemt, Dambi Dollo and Ambo and also many other towns and as the result the government has targeted youths in Oromia region and now it is feared that governments measure to suppress the voice of the people by killing innocent civilian is breeding more more violence and chaos and also it feared that the country is entering in civil war.

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