Regime in Ethiopia announced that more than eleven thousand and six hundred Ethiopians are arrested since the body, it is called “Command Post”, that presides over the state of emergency announced directives to implement state of emergency which lasts for six months. The number seem to be for all regions in Ethiopia.
Tadesse Wordofa, speaking on the behalf of the “Command Post”, stated that more than three hundreds of the arrested citizens are women and the rest are men. The “crimes” he said are, related to “vandalism and causing violence.”
It is to be recalled that the directive outlawed a range of civic and human rights including freedom of expression – even commenting and liking on posts in social media.
However, estimates from independent observers seem to suggest much higher number of Ethiopians – mainly in Amhara and Oromia regions – are arrested.
In a related development, a member of Zone-9 bloggers was rearrested yesterday. Befekadu Hailu was taken from his residence early in the morning by security forces who are said to be in plain cloths. He was arrested for more than a year along with other members of Zone-9 bloggers.
This past week, the regime lifted travel restriction on diplomats based in Addis Ababa. Under state of emergency legislation, diplomats were restricted not to travel outside of Addis Ababa outside of 40 kilometers of radius without the knowledge of the “Command Post.” Analysts assert that the motive is to create the impression that normalcy is restored in Ethiopia after the state of emergency -as a result of which tourism industry is said to be hard hit.
The state of emergency was introduced in what appeared to be a bold move to forcefully crush popular protest against minority regime -in power for more than twenty five years.
Emerging citizen report indicate,however, that situation is tense in more militarized regions of Ethiopia – namely the Amhara region. What seem to have aggravated the tension is military campaign on the part of the regime to disarm legally armed peasants in the region. Unconfirmed reports from the region claim that nearly 50 agazi forces, these are loyal ethnic Tigray forces, are killed following clash with peasants in Dabat region of Gonder.
However, government claims that calm is restored.
Written by Dimetros Birku : @dimetros