Ethiopia to lift emergency rule two months early, declares end of unrest

Ethiopia‘s parliament is set
to lift a six-month state of emergency two months early, after
the cabinet approved a draft law that said calm has been
restored, an official said.

The government imposed emergency rule in February, a day
after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned amid popular
unrest and division within the ruling coalition.

Since then, the authorities have pledged to push through a
raft of reforms that have included the release of thousands of
prisoners.

Abiy Ahmed, a former army officer who replaced Hailemariam
as premier, has travelled to several areas of the country,
promising to address grievances strengthen a range of political
and civil rights.

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On Saturday, the cabinet of ministers met to assess the
security situation and “noted that law and order has been
restored”, Abiy’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega said on Twitter.

“The draft will be sent to parliament for its
consideration,” he added.

Ethiopia‘s 547-seat House of People’s Representatives often
holds its sessions on Monday. Its legislators – all members of
the ruling party – are expected to endorse the move.

The government has twice imposed emergency rule to contain
violence that broke out mainly in Oromiya province, the
country’s most populous region, since 2015.

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The unrest was provoked by a development scheme for the
capital Addis Ababa that critics said would lead to land
seizures in nearby Oromiya.

Broader anti-government
demonstrations later spread.

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