Regime in Ethiopia announced regulations that govern six months long sate of emergency which was declared last week. It will be administered by what the government described as “command post” – supposedly and nominally under Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgne but practically under elites of the ruling Tigray people’s Liberation Front at the Federal level of government.
The regulation impacts the mobility of diplomatic community as it restricts travel outside of 40 kilometers radius from the capital Addis Ababa. In the event that Diplomats have to go outside of Addis Ababa, the regulation requires them to obtain permission from the “command post.”
The regulation is harsh, probably as anticipated, on Ethiopians. It goes to the extent of restricting, this is not exaggeration, what Ethiopians are supposed to wear.
It also lists media outlets that Ethiopians are not allowed to use to get information or news. Accordingly, accessing information from Ethiopian Satellite Television and Oromia Media Networks( both are based community news networks based in the United States) is strictly prohibited. They are labelled as media that work with what regime call “terrorist” organizations.
Public gatherings and demonstrations are prohibited as they have been for at least a year now.
Furthermore, in what seem to be an apparent move to avert stay at home protests and strikes by business owners and other service giving entities , the regulation lists prohibited activities by employing phrases like “not providing service to the public.” For example, if a cafe is not open for some reason, it could possibly be politically interpreted as denying service to the public.
As ludicrous as it is, and with all the satirical consumption of it, there are truly worrisome aspects to it. More than anything else, it could make extrajudicial killings more prevalent all over the country. Apart from infringing on freedom of expression and imposing restrictions in a range of areas, the new state of emergency regulation grants security forces authority to take any measure they deem “necessary.”
In the past few months, more than 1000 Ethiopians have already been killed in different parts of Ethiopia. Angela Merkel offered skills training for the security forces during her visit this week in order to avoid deaths of more civilians.
Earlier during the week, United States’ State Department issued statement asking clarification from the government of Ethiopia. Similarly, Canada “urged restraint” when it issued a statement this on Wednesday.
It remains to be seen as to how the diplomatic community will react to this draconian regulations.
Written by Dimetros Birku. Tweets : @dimetros