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Ethiopia to lift state of emergency rule after over three months

The state of emergency could be lifted as early as this coming week as draft bill from Council of Ministers is sent to the parliament

State of Emergency
Photo Source : Toronto Star

June 2,2018

Upon completing its regular meeting today, the council of ministers decided to lift state of emergency. The council reached the decision after evaluating the security situation in the country and the council believes that peace and stability is restored, according to Fitsum Arega, Chief of staff in the office of the prime minister.

he tweeted :

“The council of ministers in its today’s regular meeting reviewed the security situation of the country. It noted that law and order has been restored. It has approved a draft law that lifts the state of emergency. The draft will be sent to parliament for consideration”

The state of emergency was decreed for a second time in mid February of this year following the resignation of Prime minister Hailmariam Desalegne which gave rise to power struggle within the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which was culminated with the coming to power of Abiy Ahmed as chairman of the coalition and prime minister of Ethiopia.

Despite strong opposition from Ethiopians, government introduced the state of emergency claiming that it was unable to maintain peace and order through the regular law enforcement mechanism.

A body named as “Command Post” was organized, mostly composed of TPLF affiliated military generals, to preside over the state of emergency.

However, the new prime minister sounded like he was in charge and took measures in the direction of releasing political prisoners and creating conversation for national unity. Despite some notable gains, there seem to be still a challenge in terms of defending the rights of Ethiopians to live and work anywhere in the country. Emerging reports in social media claim that ethnic Amhara Ethiopians who have been living in Oromo region of Ethiopia for decades are being displaced after they are dispossessed of their small land holdings.

The Ethiopian parliament is expected to ratify the draft bill to end the state of emergency. The issue of lifting the state of emergency has been perceived by Ethiopians as one of the litmus test if the prime minister exercises real power.

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