Ethiopia declares state of emergency
ESAT News (October 9, 2016)
The regime in Ethiopia on Sunday declared a state of emergency retro effective Saturday October 8, 2016. The Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, said in a televised address to the nation that the state of emergence was needed to repulse what he called “the danger posed by anti-peace elements and foreign enemies on the peace, security and stability of the country and its people.”
The state of emergency was declared after months of anti-government protests, especially in the Oromo and Amhara regions of the country where security forces killed hundreds of peaceful protesters and tens of thousands detained.
Protests were reignited this week after the death of hundreds of festival goers on Sunday as the Oromos celebrated Ireecha, an annual thanksgiving and a festival to welcome spring. Security forces shot live bullets and threw gas canisters at the festival goers creating a massive stampede which reportedly caused the death of hundreds. Witnesses and video evidences also show security forces shooting at party goers who also used the occasion to express their grievances against the regime.
The Prime Minister said the state of emergency “would not infringe the rights enshrined in the Ethiopian constitution and diplomatic rights listed in the Vienna Convention.”
The Prime Minister blamed the unrest in his country on “foreign forces” and “anti-peace elements.” The TPLF government has been routinely blaming neighboring Egypt and Eritrea for all the crises in the country. Official statements from the government have been accusing the two countries of supporting the protest movement and opposition forces, but with no tangible evidence.
Reports say the Ethiopian government has summoned Egyptian ambassador to Addis Ababa, Aboubakr Hefny, for discussions. Associated Press reported that officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have talked to the Egyptian diplomat.
The government media has recently been televising a video purportedly showing Oromo opposition groups in Cairo holding a meeting with Egyptian officials. But that video had surfaced on the Ethiopian social media two years ago. The government television, EBC, used footages of that video to accuse Egypt of buttressing the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which is outlawed by the TPLF government.