No Ethiopia military takeover, minister says amid emergency

Laverne Mann
February 18, 2018

Since January, Ethiopia has released more than 6,000 prisoners charged with taking part in mass protests and, in some cases, offences against the state.

But on Thursday the prime minister announced he had submitted his letter of resignation, saying he hoped it would help planned reforms succeed.

The statement by the U.S. Embassy comes a day after the East African nation announced its latest months-long state of emergency amid the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century.

The Council of Ministers, according to the broadcast, said the state of emergency would also be instrumental in thwarting ethnic-based conflicts in the country and safeguarding the constitutional order.

"The state of emergency is effective as of today".

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".

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"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.

Ethiopia has been facing incessant protests since 2016, especially in three most populous Oromia, Amhara and Southern regional states.

The last martial law in Ethiopia had lasted for 10 months.

Nonetheless, Oromo activists called a strike earlier this week that saw businesses shutter and young men armed with rocks and sticks block roads in Oromia to push the government to keep its prisoner amnesty promise.

The duration of the state of emergency was not specified during the evening state TV broadcast. The government said those arrested by mistake were released and those who unwillingly took part in the unrest were released after what it described as "trainings". He will remain in office until is resignation is confirmed by the parliament and the EPRDF coalition.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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