Ethiopia declares state of emergency to stop protests

Ethiopia declares state of emergency to stop protests   FILE - In this Friday, June 10, 2005 file photo, members of the Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately following a week of anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country, especially in the restive Oromia region. (Karel Prinsloo, File/Associated Press)

FILE – In this Friday, June 10, 2005 file photo, members of the Ethiopian army patrol the streets of Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately following a week of anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country, especially in the restive Oromia region. (Karel Prinsloo, File/Associated Press)

By Elias Meseret | AP October 9 —

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately following a week of anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country, especially in the restive Oromia region.

In a televised address on Sunday morning, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the state of emergency was declared because there has been “enormous” damage to property.

“We put our citizens’ safety first. Besides, we want to put an end to the damage that is being carried out against infrastructure projects, education institutions, health centers, administration and justice buildings,” said Desalegn on the state Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

“The recent developments in Ethiopia have put the integrity of the nation at risk,” he said.

“The state of emergency will not breach basic human rights enshrined under the Ethiopian constitution and won’t also affect diplomatic rights listed under the Vienna Convention,” said Desalegn.

The internet is blocked across many parts of Ethiopia, residents reported Sunday. The government has blocked the internet for more than a week to prevent protesters from using social media to get supporters to attend demonstrations.

Major towns and cities across Ethiopia’s Oromia region are experiencing unrest and widespread violent protests of people demanding wider freedoms. More than 50 people were killed on October 2 in a stampede triggered when police fired teargas and bullets to disperse protestors at the annual Irrecha thanksgiving celebration in Bishoftu town.

An American woman was killed last week when she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters. Some businesses have been targeted because of suspected links to the government, which is promoting Ethiopia as one of Africa’s top-performing economies.

The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate said the attacks on factories in Sebeta town on the outskirts of the capital, Addis Ababa, affected more than 40,000 workers. Textile, plastic, cement and bottled-water factories have been targeted.

Anti-government protests continued Sunday. Many roads into and out of the capital, Addis Ababa, are blocked by protesters and those who try to drive through are targeted by people who jump out from behind bushes and hurl rocks, witnesses told the Associated Press by phone on Sunday.

The state broadcaster said details of the state of emergency will be communicated to the public later Sunday.

“There are sufficient grounds to declare a state of emergency in Ethiopia,” said Abiy Chelkeba, assistant professor of law at Mekelle University. “The situation in many areas across the Oromia region has become so severe that law enforcement agencies themselves have become targets and were attacked with a high intensity. Moreover, the constitutional order of the country has been endangered. All in all, the value systems of the constitution like a respect for the national flag and adherence to the governance system are in danger.”

In a separate development, Ethiopian officials summoned Egypt’s ambassador to the country, Aboubakr Hefny, for discussions. The State Minister for Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry talked to the Egyptian diplomat after a video appeared online which purportedly shows members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front sharing a stage with what Ethiopia’s state broadcaster described as Egyptians.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Posted by on October 9, 2016. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to Ethiopia declares state of emergency to stop protests

  1. debela

    October 9, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    I don’t think we all understand out need. Why?
    1- If the struggle is against TPLF, it should also be against all liberation fronts too because we have to be careful not to repeat the same mistake again; for example OLF is the same criminal group who escorted TPLF with the same ideology and killed many innocent human beings in the so called OROMIA KILLEL, and finally kicked out by TPLF and many of the OLF members and leaders are abandon the people what they said they are representing and came to Europe and America.
    2- All the so called Liberation Fronts are the remnant of Communist ideology, which brought to Ethiopia Deville sprite and still creating problems b/n all human beings in the country,
    3-We don’t have to lie each other by saying that we are all one. I am not saying all because I don’t have the stat sticks, but from what I can see most of the new Oromo generation are intoxicated by the OLF hatred ideology and trying to act like they don’t belong in Ethiopia, which is taking the whole situation to worst. First of all the so called Oromia Killel was overloaded by TPLF & OLF not by the People referendum. The only reason it is going on right now is because people don’t have any choice until they own their God given freedom, let be honest Wolega, Bale, Arusi …etc Oromo people they all have their own different cultures, and even if we think they speak the same language, but we need to know that they do have their own dialogue in their particular location this applies to Amhara ethnic group too. If it was a free interest I can assure you that they all don’t want to be in one basket called Oromia or Amhara because if we talked based on dialogue and culture they all have their own identity. The creation of great Oromia is the illusion of criminal OLF organization and the divide and rule ideology of TPLF. There was no OROMIA before and there will not be in the future.
    4- I can’t say every thing in writing, but I can say please Wake up from you deep sleep and don’t make another mistake again, if you want to fight TPLF you have to fight OLF and other liberation fronts at the same time because it is a joke to stand up among these fronts and expect to work for freedom.
    1- We all need to get out of a devil sprite and come together and ask God’s forgiveness by praying form the bottom of our hearts.
    2- Every so called collection of people or organizations are working for their own interest not for the people interest, they all use the burning issue of the people to get them to power, and we have seen this in the recent 40-50 years and we need to wake up, Freedom was given to all of us by God when we first came to this world, but we allowed other group of people to take away our freedom ourselves. If we want to get it back, we all need to stand as a human being not as ethnic group because we have to say enough for those group of people (organization) acting like they are representing us all and divide us in ethnic groups for their own interest.
    3-To bring back our God given freedom, let us create a new FREEDOM FOR ALL HUMAN-BEINGS LIVE IN THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA OF ETHIOPIA, and work together under this umbrella and get to our destination in a short period of time other wise if we keep going to follow all the previous all so called opposition groups we are playing a game on ourselves because we have seen these groups for the last 25 years standing only their own agenda not for the people, actually they don’t event care the blood shed of the people, and their aim is putting themselves on the next power competition, Please people wake up and form your own FREE HUMAN BEING IN ETHIOPIA.

  2. Kinane

    October 11, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome has disclosed that the government shall give primary emphasis to the task of ensuring equitable benefits for the youth of marginalized ethnicities this year. He said “neglecting the needs of the non-Tigrayan youth by the EPRDF regime had brought the disasterous consequences that the whole Ethiopian society is going through right now, so it needs to be stopped at once”. He also said “it is time to admit that the Ethiopian government’s official tradition of marginalizing the Amhara and Oromo ethnicities youth went on for the last 25 years without any form of check and balance done by the EPRDF government for 25 years”.
    Delivering the key schedules of the government to the joint House of People’s Representatives and the House of Federation , which was opened after a minute of silence for the commemoration of lives lost during the recent violence in the country, the president noted that the government has decided to address the questions of youth and a mobile finance fund shall be established in all woredas of the country with an allocated budget of 10 billion birr for this purpose.
    The youth are flocking from rural to urban areas looking for jobs and the government has to tailor youth centered schemes to fill the gap in a considerable level. It is a question of equitable benefit and justice and has to be addressed from this point of view, the President said.
    The unrest that happened in many areas of the country has participated considerable number of youth and has sadly claimed the lives of many and is a cause of destruction of property. The youth has widely participated in the violence. Unemployment and other social challenges faced mainly in rural areas that the youth are facing should be practically addressed if such chaos has to be contained, he underscored.
    Some anti-peace elements have tried to use the legitimate quest of the youth as a disguise for their crooked goals and destructive aspirations. This has resulted in the destruction of many private and public companies, Mulatu said.
    OLF and GINBOT 7 have backed the violence together with the government of Egypt and are responsible for the destruction the country has faced during the last months, the President noted.
    Civil servants and other low income earning sections of the society shall be backed by other schemes like increment of salary by taking into account the inflationary effect and other economic scenarios, he said.
    The President also noted that the last couple of elections have resulted in domination of the ruling party in the parliament and this in turn has given rise to absence of representatives of other voices of the society who have dissenting views. To fill this gap, a dialogue forum shall be prepared for discussion with peaceful opposition parties and create a space for them in the coming election.
    Legal reform on the law of election shall be undertaken so as the election the country conducts would be reflective of representatives of all sections of the society, he remarked.
    “Various proclamations that are aimed at ensuring equitable benefits and powers of the people of the country shall be prepared including a proclamation to ensure the special benefits that the Oromia region can claim from the city of Addis Ababa,” he added.
    Mulatu said that in order to avoid abuse and misuse of government power, a new strategy to re-tailor the federal government structure shall be set and authorities shall be appointed based on merit and their performance.
    The government has decided to further widen the democratic space and create a forum for the elite and other political parties and share constructive ideas for the sustained development of the country, he said.
    Some of the problems that the country is facing currently are the outcomes of the sustained growth and development the country have witnessed during the last couple of decades and the others are happening due to lack of capable leadership to face them at grass root and higher level and they should be addressed in such a way, the President disclosed.
    “We have understood that lack of commitment to address public woes and fight against maladministration is the main challenge that the government has to face as urgently as possible,” he remarked
    Speaking on the schemes that the government has tailored to address the unemployment gap in the country, the president reminded that Industrial parks are under construction in different parts of the country and they could be further expanded through the participation of both domestic and foreign investors.
    The industry should be specifically expanded in rural parts of the country so as it can be an engine to lift many youth from the yoke of unemployment. Such industrial parks should also be centers of technology transfer and modernization, he noted.
    Use of rural land for development purposes should be undertaken without affecting the needs and benefits of the farmers who previously had been using them, he underlined.
    President Mulatu also foreshadowed the infrastructure development and other economic development schedules of the government to the House.