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Ethiopia declares 6 months state of emergency over Oromia protests


Ethiopia’s federal government has declared a 6-month state of emergency as of Saturday, October 8, 2016, local media outfit, the Addis Fortune reports.

According to the portal, the cabinet of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held an emergency meeting on Saturday afternoon where the government declared the state of emergency citing deteriorating security situation in Oromia regional state.

The news is also corroborated by known journalists working the east African country. The latest violence in the Oromia region was sparked off during the Irreecha festival a week ago, a stampede during the festival reportedly claimed over 50 lives according to official sources.

Confirmed! #Ethiopia declares 6months state of emergency following months of violent anti-government protests.

— emmanuel Igunza (@EmmanuelIgunza) October 9, 2016

#Ethiopia's govt declares a state of emergency— the first in nearly 25years. What does this mean?

— Rachael Akidi (@rakidi) October 9, 2016

#Ethiopia declared 6 months of state of emergency. Detail to come up after 5 minutes on state TV. #EthiopiaProtests

— #EthiopiaProtests (@MickyEthiopia) October 9, 2016

It is the first time in over two decades that such a decision has been taken. It will last for six months. ‘‘It may be shortened depending on the improvement on the security front,” Fortune quoted a senior government official as saying.

Since the October 2 incident, continued protests in the country has resulted in attacks on foreign businesses. The state security continue to conduct mass arrests and internet in the country was partially cut.

The Oromia region lies south of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and is the center of the Oromia protests last year which Human Rights Watch reported that over 400 protesters were killed.

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