The Ethiopian government on Friday announced a ban on protest rallies across the country, the state-owned ENA reports. The move according to the authorities is part of a national security plan aimed at consolidating peace and stability in the country.
The defense minister, Siraj Fagessa, in a press briefing after a national security council discussion said the ban was a consensus decision by the council with the aim of preventing deaths and destruction of properties across the country.
The minister, however, admitted that parts of the country were becoming volatile after the lifting of the 10 – month state of emergency but Ethiopia was largely peaceful in its current state. The government has also vowed to prosecute officials complicit in compromising state security.
He disclosed further that the current security plan had been developed at the national level but with support of all regional states and with ‘feedback from foreign countries.’ Regional states were to tailor all their security plans with the national plan.
The security council meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who according to ENA said peace and security was key to enable the public to fully concentrate and exert maximum effort in the fight against poverty.