Ethiopia ministers OK draft law to lift state of emergency

2018-06-02 18:07


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

 Ethiopia's cabinet has approved a draft law aiming to lift the country's state of emergency that was imposed in February after months of widespread anti-government protests. It would be the most significant change so far under the country's young new prime minister, who has spoken openly about the need for reforms.

"The Council of Ministers ... reviewed the security situation of the country. It noted that law and order has been restored," the prime minister's chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, said on Saturday on Twitter.

The draft law will be sent to parliament for consideration. It was not immediately clear when that would take place.

This is the second state of emergency imposed in the East African nation, one of Africa's strongest economies and a close security ally of the United States, during more than two years of sometimes deadly protests demanding wider freedoms and the release of political prisoners. Hundreds were killed and about 22 000 were detained.

The current state of emergency was imposed a day after former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned.

Since new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, 42, was installed in April, several thousands of prisoners have been released and tensions in restive areas, notably Oromia, have dramatically declined. Some of the high-profile releases include an Ethiopia-born Briton and opposition leader, Andargachew Tsige, and Swedish doctor Fikru Maru.

Merera Gudina, a prominent opposition politician who was arrested under the country's first, nine-month-long state of emergency, said the emergency law shouldn't have existed in the first place.

"The government should have known differences are not solved by the barrel of the gun but through an honest discussion," he told The Associated Press, saying the law created an unprecedented level of confrontation between the public and the government. "But the lifting of the emergency rule and the ongoing release of detainees is a positive gesture from the new leadership."

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    ethiopia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.