The Ethiopia government has lifted the state of emergency that was enforced since October 2016. The emergency was declared as a response to one of the worst violent protest the country has ever encountered post-1991. Protests have existed in different parts of the country for over a year before the emergency was declared. There are two of the largest regional states of the country over which the protest took place. The first to protest were the Oromo people, beginning November 2015, as a result of opposing the “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan,” which sought to expand the capital into the Oromo inhabited towns and villages. The second protests were by the Amharas people, beginning July 2016, and was related to similar cases of land and identity question. On August 4, 2017, the Defense Minister and the National Command Post Secretariat of the State of emergency
Then, on August 4, 2017, the Defense Minister and the National Command Post Secretariat of the State of emergency Mr. Siraje Fegessa reported to the Parliament that the instability that existed in different parts of the country has already been controlled and peace has been restored. Minister Fegessa had also noted that the remaining few security threats would be addressed by the regular legal system.
According to the reports of the Associated Press, nearly 600 people were killed related to the protest. Approximately 21,109 people were arrested and released after they took, what the government described as, ‘trainings.’ Another 7,737 were arrested due to their participation in the violent protests. Moreover, 709 alleged armed guerrilla fighters were arrested and were believed to have participated in terror and anti-peace activities.
The state of emergency, which was declared against the anti-government protest in demand of a general “wider political freedoms” resulted in a mass amount of arbitrary detentions and related human right violations, observers claim. The government in its part maintains that “those arrested by mistake were released and those who unwillingly took part in the unrest were released.”
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