Ethiopia Moves to End State of Emergency


Since his appointment as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been praised for his moves to release political prisoners and repair dialogue with the opposition and civil society.

While many have remained concerned by the continuation of the six-month state of emergency that was imposed in February, the government has now declared that law and order has been restored to the country and as such has drafted a law to bring an end to the state of emergency two months before it is due to expire.

The draft law is expected to easily pass through parliament, given that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front holds a majority in the house.

Recent reforms following the departure of Abiy Ahmed’s predecessor from office, Hailemariam Desalegn, have followed a wake of protests across the country. Originally triggered by land rights issues in the Oromiya region in 2015, the protests subsequently broadened out to encompass a range of political grievances with the resulting crack down by state security forces resulting in hundreds of deaths.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has visited many of the areas at the heart of the protests, pledging reform and an opening up of the political space. Authorities claim nearly 6,000 prisoners have been freed since January.