Ethiopia : restriction on diplomats to travel outside of Addis Ababa lifted

November 8,2016

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Regime in Ethiopia lifted restrictions imposed on diplomats under state of emergency which came into effect at the beginning of last month.

Under directive announced to implement the state of emergency, diplomats were not allowed to travel outside of 40 kilometers of radius from the capital Addis Ababa without the knowledge of “Command Post.” This body was formed following deceleration of state of emergency to preside over its execution. Defense Minister, Siraj Fegesssa, is secretariat.

It is Siraj that announced today cancellation of part of directive that require diplomats to obtain permit if they are to travel outside of the capital Addis Ababa.

What assumptions informed the ‘change’ in mind?

The claim on the part of the regime is that normalcy is restored in Ethiopia. However, observers say it is uneasy calm rather.

For example, yesterday there was tension in Debre Markos University in Amhara regional state and a dormitory is burned; even state affiliated news outlets have reported about it.

In the rest of Amhara region, militarized approach to dispossess individuals of legally owned gun caused a war like situation and there are unreported deaths.

However, one of the main reasons for for rushing to lift restrictions on diplomats seem to be economic.

Tourism industry became one of the major foreign currency earner for the regime. It plummeted to an all time low following the state of emergency thereby worsening dire foreign currency shortage for the regime. Remains to be seen if the claim about return of “peace” will return inflow of foreign currency from tourism.

What is certain is that Ethiopia will not be the same again for the regime. More than 2000 people have died for a cause due to repressive and fearful knee jerk reaction of the regime.

Modest estimate from anonymous sources in Ethiopia puts the number of people arrested under state of emergency to well over 10,000. Foreign media,however, reported only “over one thousand” on grounds of “confirmed news”

True, the regime wants to be seen as if it is undertaking a reform agenda and even introduced new cabinet. The reality is regime became more militarized and more brutal, still under tight control of Tigray People Liberation Front and the demand for change which caused popular protest is not addressed.

Video source : EBC facebook page.
Cover photo: Screenshot of EBC Video

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