Ethiopia to lift state of emergency


Ethiopia’s parliament is set to lift a six-month state of emergency two months early, after cabinet approved a draft law saying calm has been restored, an official said.

Government imposed emergency rule in February, a day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned amid popular unrest and division in the ruling coalition.

Since then, authorities pledged to push through a raft of reforms including the release of thousands of prisoners.

Abiy Ahmed, a former army officer who replaced Hailemariam as premier, travelled to several areas of the country, promising to address grievances and strengthen political and civil rights.

On Saturday, the cabinet met to assess the security situation and “noted law and order has been restored”, Abiy’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega said on Twitter.
“The draft will be sent to parliament for its consideration,” he added.

Ethiopia’s 547-seat House of People’s Representatives often holds sessions on Mondays. Its legislators – all members of the ruling party – are expected to endorse the move.

Government twice imposed emergency rule to contain violence mainly in Oromiya province, the country’s most populous region, since 2015.

The unrest was provoked by a development scheme for Addis Ababa critics said would lead to land seizures in nearby Oromiya. Broader anti-government demonstrations later spread.