Ethiopia declares state of emergency

Associated Press


Ethiopian officials have declared a state of emergency amid widespread government protests that have persisted for more than two years and in which hundreds have been killed and several thousand detained, the majority of whom have since been released. It is the second state of emergency in two years and comes a day after the prime minister resigned.

“The current situation in the country has come to a point where it can’t be handled with normal peace-protecting mechanisms,” said a statement issued by the Council of Ministers and read on the state broadcaster, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp., on Friday evening. “It has been decided that a state of emergency is needed to protect the constitutional order of the country. The state of emergency is effective as of today.”

The Council of Ministers’ said the emergency is being declared because the protests have caused injuries and deaths, massive displacement of citizens, the destruction of properties, attacks based on ethnic lines and threats against the constitutional order of the country. It did not state how long the emergency will be in effect.

On Thursday Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his surprise resignation, saying he wanted to be part of a solution to the crisis and steadfast ongoing reforms. He had been prime minister since 2012.

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