Six months long state of emergency declared in Ethiopia

October 9,2016

Regime in Ethiopia declared six months of state of emergency starting yesterday. The decision is passed by the council of ministers according to Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegne who appeared on state television to announce the state of emergence.

“Respected Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians, today I am appearing to announce Ethiopian Federal Democratic Government council of Ministers decisions,after evaluating current situations of Ethiopia, regarding our country’s peace,safety and security….” said Hailemariam Desalegne.

Hailemariam Desalegne announced the state of emergency a day after it came in to effect.

Regarding why the state of emergency became necessary, “Stability of our country, safety and security of citizens is under unprecedented threat” stated Hailemariam.

And the cause, In the eyes of the regime,coordinated activity to destabilize the Ethiopia by anti-peace forces with support from external enemies of Ethiopia. Recently, Egypt was implicated in financing and supporting Oromo Liberation Front – which was once a partner to Tigray peoples Liberation Front before being outlawed some twenty or so years ago.

In view of thousands of Ethiopians killed by forces loyal to the ruling TPLF this year alone, the statement is predictably irritating for Ethiopians. In August of this year, Hailemariam Desalegne ordered deployment of armed forces in the Amhara region of Ethiopia and hundreds were killed by snipers.

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Violence in many towns across Ethiopia worsened this past week after more than 678 people were killed during a religious festival, Ireecha, in Bishoftu when security forces fired tear gas on crowed estimated to be over 2 million which caused stampede. Many died by falling to deep ditches.

Protesters destroyed properties and factories that belong to supporters and members of TPLF regime. The reason, as far as majority of Ethiopians concerned, is that the wealth was created through corruption and at the expense of the rest of Ethiopians. In some cases, investment owned by expatiates, Turkish for example, were destroyed.

Despite worsening protest across Ethiopia, deceleration of the state of emergency was not anticipated. Given the situation in the country, it is questionable if the government can outlive the period of the state of emergency.

In stead of addressing underlying causes and popular demands, government swung to window dressing measure of intensifying propaganda about “development efforts”, which many Ethiopians considered it to be an insult, while intensifying brutal measures on protesters.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne referred to article 93 of the constitution to justify declaration of the state of emergency, and that human rights and diplomatic rights, as per Vienna convention, will be observed.

However, the number one concern of Ethiopians is that government will use the period of state of emergency to intensify its brutal attack on civilians. In most parts of the country, internet connection is blocked. Phone lines are disconnected. Cellular phones not working. For that reasons citizens do not have a means to report occurrences related to human rights violations.

In fact, it is unimaginable that government will observe human rights during the period of the state of emergency when it killed thousands of citizens even in situations that do not call for state of emergency.

Written by Dimetros Birku. Twitter handle : @dimetros

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