Ethiopia declares Emergency amid anti-government protests
In a sharp reaction to the wave of protests against the ruling government in Oromia and Amhara regions of the country, Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced the same as he raised concerns about security of the people amid rising social discontent. This is the first time in last 25 years that emergency has been imposed and it is bound to last for 6 months. As per Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, the emergency which came into effect yesterday was an efficient means to deal with all the elements who have allied with all the foreign forces and aim to destroy peace and thus jeopardise security of the nation.
Protests were revived last week after the deadly stampede at Oromia festival celebrations caused due to police firing tear gas and alarming shots in the air to disperse the crowds. Dozens of people were reportedly killed in the same. The official figures stood at 55 while many human rights activists stated that more than 100 lives were lost as many people fell in huge ditches which lined the area. The recent round of protests saw violence as many factories, company premises, vehicles were set on fire or damaged. Also, many road-links leading to the capital Addis Ababa were blocked by the protestors.
Hundreds of people have lost their lives since the protests began last November in the clashes between police and demonstrators. The government has constantly denied all such claims of the systemic violence by the security forces. It had also rejected many offers by the United Nations to send observers on the pretext that it was solely responsible for the security of its citizens. The government has maintained the stance that many rebel outfits have collided with foreign-based dissidents and stoked up violence in the region.