Ethiopia emergency to last six months


State of emergency in Ethiopia as country's prime minister resigns

Ethiopia last declared a state of emergency in October 2016 after months of protests in Oromia - home to the country's largest ethnicity, the Oromos - and neighbouring Amhara region. The military will be in charge via a command post, which will be "reporting to the Prime Minister", according to our source.

"To be able to protect the constitutional system, declaring a state of emergency has become necessary", the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) said, quoting a government communique.

Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country.

Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning.

"The government has previously made several efforts to curtail violence, but lives have continued to be lost, many have been displaced and economic infrastructure has been damaged", Fegessa said.

Desalegn said in a televised address to the country, "I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy".

He said he wanted to smooth the way for reforms.

The council added it would release more details Saturday.

Protesters had blocked roads leading out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, with rocks and burning tyres, disrupting public transportation in the city.

A day before his resignation, he presided over a massive prisoner amnesty that saw detained politicians from the Oromo ethnic group freed along with hundreds of other prisoners.

The duration of the state of emergency was not specified during the evening state TV broadcast.

It is unclear who will take over from Hailemariam or when that decision will be made.

His resignation will be confirmed once the full EPRDF council meets.

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