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Ethiopia must 'consolidate gains' before lifting state of emergency - PM


Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, says the country needs to consolidate gains made since October before lifting the current state of emergency.

“As far as the date of lifting the state of emergency is concerned, it should be seen in the perspective that we have to consolidate the gains that we have made so far,” the Prime Minister told a news conference.

He also buttressed the position of the Command Post administering the state of emergency, that the measure had helped restore ‘normalcy’ in the Horn of Africa nation.

The country had suffered from anti-government protests especially in the Oromo and Amhara regions. The attendant security clampdown led to deaths and mass arrests of activists. Some of whom the government has ‘rehabilitated’ and released whiles others await trial.

Human rights groups have estimated that over 500 people lost their lives in the spreading violence in regions deemed to tilt towards the political opposition. The initial protests which started in November 2015 were sparked by anger over a development scheme for the capital but broadened subsequently for calls for political rights.

The 6-month state of emergency was declared in October to quell the protests. The government declared the curfew following a discussion by the Council of Ministers on the loss of lives and property damages occurring in the country.

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