ADDIS ABABA (EthiopiaOnline)―The Council of Ministers in its Saturday’s (02 June 2018) regular meeting approved a draft law to lift the 3-month-run State of Emergency.

The draft will be sent to the House of People’s Representatives for consideration.

The Council of Ministers refers that the primary reason to lift the state of emergency which is that law and order have been restored in the country in recent times.

Ethiopia declared a six-month State of Emergency on February 16, 2018 right on the next day that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn unexpectedly resigned after five years.

The government declared the state of emergency as a necessary move to cool off a wave of anti-government protests which had shaken up the country.

Since August 2016, a wide range of protests and anti-government movements were happening, especially in Oromia and Amhara regions of the country and, as a result, hundreds of people died, thousand were thrown to prisons. Different sources estimate the number of people killed in 2016 and 2017 to be around 800.

Despite the arrests and killings, the government has been unable to regain control or to respond adequately to protesters’ demands for freedom of speech and democratic governance.

The first state of emergency was imposed in October 2016 which run for ten months until it was lifted on August 4, 2017. That first state of emergency was imposed after a deadly stampede at a religious celebration in October 2016 as police confronted protesters. The emergency law was extended in March 2017.

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