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BREAKING NEWS: ETHIOPIA UNDER MARSHAL LAW


Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn


Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has informed the nation this afternoon, October 9, 2016, a decree by his cabinet to impose a state of emergency effective yesterday and remains in effect for six months.

“It may be shortened depending on the improvement on the security front,” a senior government official told Fortune.

The Council of Ministers, in its emergency meeting called on Saturday afternoon, has invoked a rare provision in the constitution, Article 93, in response to the growing civil unrest across the country, particularly in the Oromia Regional State. The unrest, growing to be violent and increasingly involving lootings, has expanded to the Southern Regional State, beginning late last week.

The Council has effectively put the nation under marshal law, a decree made for the first time in 25 years of the EPRDF rule. Marshal law is a rare and extreme measure governments are compelled to take under times of war and civil unrest. It is military personnel who take the authority to enforce civil and criminal laws, while curtailing civil liberties such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of assembly and movement.

Ethiopia’s Constitution allows the Prime Minister to declare state of emergency for up to six months, but needs to present the decree to parliament in two weeks if it is not in session. Prime Minister Hailemariam is expected to table his declaration to Parliament in 10 days, according to sources in the government.

However, details of the scope, place and time of the state of emergency declared yesterday is in the making, official sources disclosed. It may not incorporate curfew at least in large parts of the country where there is no immediate concern on security, unnamed officials confirmed to Fortune.

The Prime Minister, addressing the nation on Sunday afternoon, on the marshal law, has pledged to respect fundamental human rights and diplomatic privileges covered under the Vienna Convention. The Constitution obliges the government to disclose, through the public media, the number of individual the state puts under custody every month.

In the meantime, the capital Addis Abeba remains calm today, although there is a drastically dropped movement of people and vehicles. However, weddings are taking place unaffected as planned earlier. Many residents are anxiously anticipating for details to surface tonight

Aljazeera Reporter

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/ethiopia-declares-state-emergency-protests-161009110506730.html

Ethiopia declares state of emergency over protests Government declares a state of emergency effective immediately following violence and unrest in Oromia region. Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker Share via Facebook Share via Twitter Comments Print Oromia has experienced protests since November 2015 as people have called for wider political freedoms [Reuters] Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency following months of often violent anti-government protests, especially in the restive Oromia region. thiopia declares state of emergency over protests Government declares a state of emergency effective immediately following violence and unrest in Oromia region. Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker Share via Facebook Share via Twitter Comments Print Oromia has experienced protests since November 2015 as people have called for wider political freedoms [Reuters] Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency following months of often violent anti-government protests, especially in the restive Oromia region. "A state of emergency has been declared because the situation posed a threat against the people of the country," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on state-run television on Sunday. Local media said the state of emergency, declared for the first time in 25 years, will last for six months. What is triggering Ethiopia's unrest? Earlier on Sunday, the state Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the state of emergency was effective as of Saturday evening as a means to "deal with anti-peace elements that have allied with foreign forces and are jeopardising the peace and security of the country". It added that the Council of Ministers discussed the damage by the protests across the country and declared the state of emergency in a message delivered to Hailemariam. Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, reporting from Mombasa, said that people were concerned about "the powers this state of emergency allows the prime minister to have". "The security forces for example will now fall under the prime minister's control specifically. And if we look back over the last year, things like the internet have been blocked to prevent people communicating and allowing these protests to continue," she said. Protests reignited this week in the Oromia region - the main focus of a recent wave of demonstrations - after dozens of people were killed in a stampede on October 2, which was sparked by police firing tear gas and warning shots at a huge crowd of protesters attending a religious festival. The official death toll given by the government was 55, though opposition activists and rights groups said they believe more than 100 people died as they fled security forces, falling into ditches that dotted the area. According to government officials, factories, company premises and vehicles were burnt out completely or damaged during the recent wave of protests. Many roads leading to the capital, Addis Ababa, were reported to be blocked. READ MORE: 'I am not seeking asylum in the US', says Oromo marathoner The death toll from unrest and clashes between police and demonstrators over the past year or more runs into several hundred, according to opposition and rights group estimates. At least 500 people have been killed by security forces since anti-government protests began in November, New York-based Human Rights Watch group said in August. The government says such figures are inflated and has denied that violence from the security forces is systemic. In August, it rejected a United Nations request to send in observers, saying it alone was responsible for the security of its citizens. The anti-government demonstrations started in November among the Oromo, Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group, and later spread to the Amhara, the second most populous group. Though they initially began over land rights, they later broadened into calls for more political, economic and cultural rights. Both groups say that a multi-ethnic ruling coalition and the security forces are dominated by the Tigray ethnic group, which makes up only about six percent of the population. The government, though, blames rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence. "A state of emergency has been declared because the situation posed a threat against the people of the country," Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on state-run television on Sunday. Local media said the state of emergency, declared for the first time in 25 years, will last for six months. What is triggering Ethiopia's unrest? Earlier on Sunday, the state Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the state of emergency was effective as of Saturday evening as a means to "deal with anti-peace elements that have allied with foreign forces and are jeopardising the peace and security of the country". It added that the Council of Ministers discussed the damage by the protests across the country and declared the state of emergency in a message delivered to Hailemariam. Al Jazeera's Fahmida Miller, reporting from Mombasa, said that people were concerned about "the powers this state of emergency allows the prime minister to have". "The security forces for example will now fall under the prime minister's control specifically. And if we look back over the last year, things like the internet have been blocked to prevent people communicating and allowing these protests to continue," she said. Protests reignited this week in the Oromia region - the main focus of a recent wave of demonstrations - after dozens of people were killed in a stampede on October 2, which was sparked by police firing tear gas and warning shots at a huge crowd of protesters attending a religious festival. The official death toll given by the government was 55, though opposition activists and rights groups said they believe more than 100 people died as they fled security forces, falling into ditches that dotted the area. According to government officials, factories, company premises and vehicles were burnt out completely or damaged during the recent wave of protests. Many roads leading to the capital, Addis Ababa, were reported to be blocked. READ MORE: 'I am not seeking asylum in the US', says Oromo marathoner The death toll from unrest and clashes between police and demonstrators over the past year or more runs into several hundred, according to opposition and rights group estimates. At least 500 people have been killed by security forces since anti-government protests began in November, New York-based Human Rights Watch group said in August. The government says such figures are inflated and has denied that violence from the security forces is systemic. In August, it rejected a United Nations request to send in observers, saying it alone was responsible for the security of its citizens. The anti-government demonstrations started in November among the Oromo, Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group, and later spread to the Amhara, the second most populous group. Though they initially began over land rights, they later broadened into calls for more political, economic and cultural rights. Both groups say that a multi-ethnic ruling coalition and the security forces are dominated by the Tigray ethnic group, which makes up only about six percent of the population. The government, though, blames rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence.

 

 

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