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The Council of Ministers in its regular meeting on Saturday June 2 lift the state of emergency that was imposed on February 15, right after the resignation of the previous Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn. The draft law will be sent to parliament for approval by next week.
According to a tweet from Fitsum Arega Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister office the lift came after the security situation in the country is back to normal. ‘The Council of Ministers in its regular meeting reviewed the security situation of the country. It noted that law and order has been restored. It has approved a draft law that lifts the State of Emergency. The draft will be sent to Parliament for its consideration’ reads the tweet.
The lifting of the state of emergency was widely expected after the new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed came to power. However it took him exactly two months to lift the emergency decree after he took power.
Ethiopia announced a state of emergency on February 15, a day after the prime minister resigned, as pressure mounted on the country’s ruling coalition. The coalition decided emergency rule was ‘vital to safeguarding the constitutional order’.
The country fully lifted its last state of emergency in August 2017, following months of curfews, restrictions on movement and the detention of thousands of people.
Those measures followed two years of anti-government protests in which security forces killed hundreds of people in Amhara and Oromia Regions, the nation’s two most populous provinces.
EPRDF has been in power since 1991 and controls all 547 seats in parliament. But cracks have appeared since the outbreak of unrest, with some senior officials resigning and others being sidelined.