Ethiopia declares state of emergency
The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency effective immediately following a week of anti-government violence that resulted in deaths and property damage across the country, especially in the restive Oromia region. Violence has intensified since last Sunday when at least 55 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters at an Oromo festival.
Hundreds have died in months of protests, human rights groups say.
Tens of thousands have also been detained, they say.
“The Council of Ministers has declared a state of emergency that will be effective as of Saturday evening so as to deal with anti-peace elements that have allied with foreign forces and are jeopardising the peace and security of the country,” the state Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation announced on Sunday.
It added that that the Council of Ministers discussed the damage by the protests across the country and declared the state of emergency in a message delivered to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Major towns and cities across the Oromia region are experiencing unrest and widespread violent protests after dozens were killed on October 2 in a stampede triggered when police fired teargas and bullets to disperse protestors at the annual Irrecha thanksgiving celebration in the town of Bishoftu.