Ethiopia’s state of emergency imposed since October last year served its intended purpose according to defense minister Siraj Fegessa.
The Minister who doubled as head of the Command Post administering the State of Emergency told parliament at a special sitting on Friday that the country had been able to deal with its major security threats even though minor elements remain.
“We have been able to deal with armed terrorists, anti-peace elements and troublemakers,” Fegessa said. He added that the minor problems could be dealt with by regular law enforcement and through the country’s courts.
The House of Peoples Representatives – the parliament – on Friday voted to lift the state of emergency decree which was imposed by cabinet in last year. It was later approved by legislators.
Originally imposed for six months, MPs voted to extend it by a further four months after the initial expiration in April 2017. It was imposed to quell anti-government protests that started spreading in two main regions of Amhara and Oromia.
The minister also disclosed that a total of 709 armed insurgents (325 in Oromia, 275 in Amhara Regional State and 109 in Southern Regional State) were arrested during the period of the implementation of the decree.
He added that a total of 7,737 suspects are still in custody for involvement in the unrest, and their cases are currently being handled by the courts.