Ethiopia lifts state of emergency

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Addis Ababa, Aug 4 (IANS) Ethiopia on Friday lifted the state of emergency declared on October 9 last year after a deadly week of arson and violence that left many private and state-owned firms in flames.

The state of emergency was formally lifted after Defence Minister Siraj Fegessa in his report told the country’s parliament that Ethiopia’s stability had been sufficiently restored to warrant full lifting of martial law, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country declared the first six-month state of emergency in October due to violent demonstrations that erupted in some parts of the country throughout 2016 and intensified in October.

Protesters alleged political and economic discrimination by the country’s government.

According to a recent report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, 669 Ethiopians were killed in connection with the demonstrations.

Parliament had decided on March 30 to extend the initial six-month period by additional four months.

Ethiopia’s state of emergency during its initial days had imposed various restrictions such as curfews, social media blockage, and a ban on diplomats travelling in excess of 40 km outside Addis Ababa without government approval.

Much of the restrictions were gradually lifted in the following months as the country’s peace and security situation improved.

–IANS

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