Government says people in some parts of Ethiopia wanted extension of state of emergency but did not say in which part
As the six months life span of state of emergency,which was declared in October 2016, comes to a close, the 21st session of parliament passed a decision to extent it for another four months.
Secretariat of the “Command Post” , Sirage Fergessa, appeared before parliament to explain why the state of emergency has to be extended. “Command Post” is a board instituted by the ruling party to preside over the martial law and is mainly composed of senior military officers of the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front but the secretariat is a minister of defense.
While there is a claim on the part of the government that the state of emergency restored peace and stability in Ethiopia, the need to transform what has been achieved to what state media report called “an irreversible stage” necessitated the four months extension.
There is no opposition voice in the parliament as government claimed 99.6 percent win in the last parliamentary election which was about a year before the popular anti-government protest in Ethiopia since July 2016.
Also,government claims that people in some parts of Ethiopia demonstrated tendency in favor of extension so as to address “security issues.”
But the report by state media, and apparently the “Command Post” itself, did not specify as to which parts of Ethiopia are experiencing “security issues” or the people in what part of Ethiopia wanted extension of the state of emergency.
Reputable Human Rights Organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accused government that it is using state of emergency to mount crack down on dissent in the country.
More than fifty thousand Ethiopians were arrested in make shift concentration camps following deceleration of state of emergency.
Government announced that it released more than 20,000 detainees after providing them with “training on constitution.” However, nearly 5,000 Ethiopians are not, says government, released and will be charged with alleged links with outlawed opposition groups.
Meanwhile, there are reports that armed groups that are resisting government repression in Gonder region of Ethiopia inflicted surprised attack on government in the last two or so days. However, the extend to the damage they caused it not known.
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