Ethiopia’s Parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency by four months. Tabled today, March 29, 2017, a bill titled “State of Emergency Proclamation for the Maintenance of Public Peace and Security Renewal” was voted to pass as a law, extending a six-month similar proclamation decreed in October 2016, for the first time in the 25-year rule of the EPRDF. There was no objection registered by MPs.
Siraj Fegessa, minister of Defense and secretary of the Command Post entrusted to enforce the emergency law, told the all-EPRDF dominated Parliament, the Command Post, chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, wanted to see the emergency decree extended to reinforce “the peace and stability which is gained after Parliament declared the state of the emergency.”
The first state of emergency is declared after violent public protests in the Amhara and Oromia regional states over the previous two years, causing loss of lives and damage to properties.
The decree is amended twice since October, lifting the curfews imposed near industrial sites and mega projects. It also restricted the Command Post from carrying out arrests of suspects without having court warrants, and lifte the travel restriction set on diplomats. The extension followed Prime Minister Hailemariam’s signal to Parliament two weeks ago that “the majority of people the government surveyed wanted to see the emergency law is extended.”
Source: Addis Fortune Newspaper