Ethiopia briefs Addis-based diplomats on decision to lift state of emergency

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On the 7th of August 2017, Addis-based ambassadors and diplomats have been briefed on the government’s decision to lift the state of emergency.

On the occasion, Dr. Negeri Lencho, Minister for Government Communication Affairs Bureau recollected the reasons over why the state of emergency was declared in Ethiopia back in October 2016, following the unrest in some parts of the country, the measures taken in the course, the ongoing political reforms and grounds for lifting the state of emergency.

Dr. Negeri Lencho, Minister for Government Communication Affairs Bureau and Mrs. Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs

Dr. Negeri recalled that following the unrest in Oromia and Amhara regional states, hundreds of lives were unnecessarily lost that included women, children and even security forces and close to 50 investments were affected due to the unlawful acts of anti-peace elements. Accordingly, the Minister added that the promulgation of the state of emergency was meant to restore law and order and ascertain the peaceful conduct of day-to-day activities of the public.

Minister Negeri also reminded his listeners that important sections of the state of emergency had been revised following the improvement of the security situation, which he said included the lifting of the partial curfews and travel restrictions on diplomats, the release of over twenty-one thousand detainees and the full reinstitution of the internet.

Touching on the measures taken in the course to redress the genuine concerns of the public, the Minister mentioned among others the thorough investigations by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, the wide range of consultations with the various members of the public, the ongoing serious investigations on corruption and the inter-party dialogues now underway in a bid to widen the political space.

Dr. Negeri added the government’s decision to lift the state of emergency is ascribed to the restoration of law and order in the country, adding that, with the exception of few places, the situation has been reversed and now that the normal local administration and security mechanisms could take over.

Mrs. Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, on her part thanked the diplomatic community for the patience and confidence it has shown over the country’s leadership in the course of enforcing the state of emergency.

Mrs. Hirut reiterated that the series of consultations and town-hall meetings made with the different segments of the public, including women, youth and civil societies, the 10-billion Mobile Youth Fund, the inter-party political dialogues, the government’s commitment to deal with the problems of mal-administration and stem corruption are all set on track to advance sustainable and equitable development, and social equality, and ensure democratic governance and the respect of human rights.

Taking stock of the proposed reforms of the country’s election law and of the ongoing inter-party political dialogues, the State Minister said “We are optimistic that we will manage to bring more people on board the political space.”

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