Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation

Ethiopia announced a state of emergency on Friday, the day after the prime minister’s resignation, as pressure mounted on the country’s ruling coalition. The coalition decided emergency rule was “vital to safeguarding the constitutional order,” state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The announcement gave no further details but the defence minister was expected to hold a news conference on Saturday morning. Ethiopia only fully lifted its last state of emergency in August following months of curfews, restrictions on movement and the detention of 29,000 people. Those measures followed two years of anti-government protests in which security forces killed hundreds of people in Amhara and Oromiya, the nation’s two most populous provinces. The imposition of a new state of emergency may indicate that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation on Thursday was the result of tensions among the four parties in the ruling coalition. The coalition has been in power since 1991 and controls all 547 seats in parliament. But cracks have appeared since the outbreak of unrest, with some senior officials resigning and others being sidelined. Opposition demands The two largest ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa country, the Oromo and Amharic, complain they are under-represented in the country’s corridors of power. Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said on Friday Ethiopia needed a completely new political system. The Oromo Federalist Congress is one of seven parties that make up the biggest opposition coalition, MEDREK. “Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that… [Read full story]


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