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Ethiopian News

  • Ethiopia declares state of emergency over protests

    Government declares a state of emergency effective immediately following violence and unrest in Oromia region.


    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.

    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 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 .

    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 damagedduring the recent wave of protests. Many roads leading to the capital, Addis Ababa, were reported to be blocked.

    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 6 percent of the population.

    The government, though, blames rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence.

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  • Declaration of State of Emergency



    BREAKING NEWS: The Federal Government Has Declared a State of Emergency. for those of you who don't have any idea about the state of emergency read this carefully. 
    Article 93
    Declaration of State of Emergency
    1. (a) The Council of Ministers of the Federal Government shall have the power to decree a state of emergency, should an external invasion, a break down of law and order which endangers the Constitutional order and which cannot be controlled by the regular law enforcement agencies and personnel, a natural disaster, or an epidemic occur.
    (b) Sate executives can decree a State-Wide state of emergency should a natural disaster or an epidemic occur. Particulars shall be determined in State Constitutions to be promulgated in conformity with this Constitution.
    2. A state of emergency declared in accordance with sub-Article 1(a) of this Article:
    If declared when the House of Peoples’ Representatives is in session, the decree shall be submitted to the House within forty-eight hours of its declaration. The decree, if not approved by a two-thirds majority vote of members of the House of Peoples' Representatives, shall be repealed forthwith.
    Subject to the required vote of approval set out in (a) of this sub-Article, the decree declaring a state of emergency when the House of
    Peoples’ Representatives is not in session shall be submitted to it within fifteen days of its adoption.
    A state of emergency decreed by the Council of Ministers, if approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives, can remain in effect up to six months. The House of Peoples’ Representatives may, by a two-thirds majority vote, allow the state of emergency proclamation to be renewed every four months successively.
    (a) When a state of emergency is declared, the Council of Ministers shall, in accordance with regulations it issues, have all necessary power to protect the country’s peace and sovereignty, and to maintain public security, law and order.
    The Council of Ministers shall have the power to suspend such political and democratic rights contained in this Constitution to the extent necessary to avert the conditions that required the declaration of a state of emergency.
    In the exercise of its emergency powers the Council of Ministers can not, however, suspend or limit the rights provided for in Articles 1, 18, 25, and sub-Articles 1 and 2 of Article 39 of this Constitution.
    The House of Peoples’ Representatives, while declaring a state of emergency, shall simultaneously establish a State of Emergency Inquiry Board, comprising of seven persons to be chosen and assigned by the House from among its members and from legal experts.
    The State of Emergency Inquiry Board shall have the following powers and responsibilities:
    To make public within one month the names of all individuals arrested on account of the state of emergency together with the reasons for their arrest.
    To inspect and follow up that no measure taken during the state of emergency is inhumane.
    To recommend to the Prime Minister or to the Council of Ministers corrective measures if it finds and case of inhumane treatment.
    To ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of inhumane acts.
    To submit its views to the House of Peoples’ Representatives on a request to extend the duration of the state of emergency.

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  • Merkel declines to address Ethiopian parliament

    German Chancellor to meet with leaders of opposition parties

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (PhD), who will be visiting Addis Ababa next week, declined to address the House of Peoples’ Representatives, which will return from recess for the second year term of the fifth parliament.

    According to reliable sources, though Ethiopian authorities requested the head of the German federal government to address legislators, Merkel declined because “it is a one-party-dominated parliament and did not see the point in doing so”.

    Merkel embarks Sunday on a visit to three African countries. She will first travel to Mali and Niger before coming to Ethiopia where she is to meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and visit the headquarters of the African Union.

    The German Chancellor will arrive in Addis Ababa on Monday evening escorted by members of the German Federal Chancellery. However, there will be no economic or business delegation that will accompany the Chancellor during her visit; the reason being “logistical difficulties”. Merkel is expected to arrive in Addis Ababa in the evening hours and will be welcomed by an honor guard the next morning at the National Palace. Later on Wednesday, she will have a bilateral session with Prime Minister Hailemariam.

    According to sources, Merkel will discuss the issue of using excessive and unnecessary force by security forces against protesters in different parts of the country.  She will also address the issue of what sources said is “controlled opening” of the political space.

    Her talks with Hailemariam will also focus on migration issues and the battle against terrorism.

    More Here...

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  • Capital city tightens security to repel spreading protests

    Amid panic among residents of the capital city, Addis Ababa, following the renewed protest in the surrounding towns of the Oromia Special Zone, the city’s Police Commission said yesterday that it has tightened its security around city to contain the spreading Oromo protest from entering the city.

    The protest started to spread across towns in the Oromia Special Zone, following the deadly Irrecha stampede that claimed the lives of at least 53 people and injured hundreds more.

    The tragic incident came after a heated protest at the annual Irrecha festival interrupted and after the region’s Special Forces have decided to use tear gas to disperse the protest.

    The firing of tear gas resulted in the public rushing off to safety causing heightened commotion and stampede around the scared grounds of Lake Hora, where Irrecha is celebrated every year.

    The statement issued by the government blamed the tragic stampede on groups who instigated chaos in the crowd deliberately resulting in the deaths of many innocent civilians.

    Meanwhile, activists accuse the government of firing more than tear gas and go to the extent of claiming that the accident was caused by the coordinated ground and air attack employing “helicopters and live rounds”  on protestors resulting in people falling in the lake, ditches and/or caught in middle if a deadly stampede.  

    Following the funeral ceremony of many of the victims, widespread protest and unrest broke out around Sebeta, Furi and Burayou and other districts surrounding Addis Ababa.

    As a result, on Tuesday and Wednesday, Addis Ababa was noticeably quite with shops closed and transportation shortages observed around Mexico, Tor Hailoch, Ayer Tena and Jemo Condo site, as well as in the neighborhoods of Ashewa Meda, Asko and nearby places around Kolfe-Keranyo Sub City.

    However, the City’s Police Commission Commissioner, Girma Kassa told The Reporter that “the residents (of Addis Ababa) has been caught by fear of unrest yet there is no credible incidents that affect its security”. More Here

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