alexa Ethiopia Cabinet approves bill to lift state of emergency - Daily Nation

Ethiopia Cabinet approves bill to lift state of emergency

Saturday June 2 2018

Abiy Ahmed

The reprieve was part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda that has seen Ethiopia's one-party government make peace with various opposition groups. PHOTO | ACHARIAS ABUBEKER | AFP 

ANDUALEM SISAY
By ANDUALEM SISAY
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ADDIS ABABA
Ethiopia’s cabinet has approved a draft bill to lift the state of emergency imposed in February following widespread anti-government protests.

The decision to lift the state of emergency, originally scheduled for August, was arrived at after the Council of Ministers meeting on Saturday morning.

The bill has been sent to parliament for approval.

“The Council of Ministers in its today’s 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,” prime minister's chief of staff Fitsum Arega tweeted.

Ethiopia imposed the state of emergency a day after the surprise resignation of then-prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn following two years of protests led by the Oromo.

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Unrest among the Oromos started in late 2015 over a government development plan they decried as unfair, and soon spread to the country's second-largest ethnicity, the Amhara.

The protests resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests and only stopped after Ethiopia was placed under emergency rule for 10 months beginning October 2016.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, sworn in in April, has asked citizens for patience as he works to bring change.

He has released thousands of prisoners in the restive regions as well as those living abroad including Sudan, Kenya and Saudi Arabia.