21 February 2018

Ethiopia: State of Emergency to Ensure Peace, Widen Political Landscape - MoFA

Photo: Addis Standard
Demonstrations in Addis Ababa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said that the declaration of the State of Emergency (SoE) that the government has issued last week would move the country forward by ensuring sustainable peace and national security through widening political landscape, and opening space for democratic exercises.

Briefing diplomatic communities here yesterday, Foreign Minister Dr. Workineh Gebeyehu said that the government has witnessed unrest in some parts of the country where lots of lives had been lost and properties damaged.

The Minister also noted that the unrest was evaluated to be a threat to the Constitution and the constitutional order.

Mentioning the fact that forceful riots occurred recently tend to divert the peace and stability of the country by preventing citizens from exercising their rights of free movement, he added it also tend to distort harmony of people to live together even if legal demonstration is a constitutional right.

Cognizant of the fact that such kind of unrest and disturbance has created death, injuries, and extensive damage of properties, the government declared the state of emergency to maintain the well-being of its people and protect the economic installations from destruction through safeguarding the peace and security of the Ethiopian people, Dr. Workineh stressed.

According to him, the public has been demanding the federal government for maintaining law and order in the nation. He explained "the Council of Ministers has issued the proclamation since 16 February 2018 to preserve the constitutional order following a serious consultation and evaluation."

Quoting Premier's letter of resignation, the Minister said that the Prime Minister will stay in power until his resignation get acceptance. Following all the legal procedures and platforms a new PM will be appointed by the parliament, he underscored.

MoFA Sate Minister Hirut Zemene for her part said that the decree, aimed at protecting the constitutional order, would ensure security, stability and free movement of citizens in the country.

According to her, restrictions under the State of Emergency are placed in line with Article 93 of the Constitution.

"A command-post is authorized to prohibit preparation, printing and circulations of any form of writings that would cause disturbance and suspicion among the people including the displaying or publicizing of weird information that could stimulate violence and hatred against citizens," she insisted.

And it also prohibits those who participate on aggression against the Constitution, she added.

The decree allows police officers to arrest individuals suspected of initiating, organizing and leading violence.

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