Ethiopia declares state of emergency, martial law

# 21:52
16 February 2018

Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency following unrest in the restive Oromia and Amhara regional states, according to a state television broadcast, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.


After an intense day-long meeting, the Council of Ministers said a martial law would also be enforced effective Friday.


The duration of the state of emergency was not specified during the evening state TV broadcast.


The announcement said the state of emergency was deemed necessary to quell unrest in various parts of the country and to prevent destruction of public property.


The Council of Ministers, according to the broadcast, said the state of emergency would also be instrumental in thwarting ethnic-based conflicts in the country and safeguarding the constitutional order.


The council added it would release more details Saturday.


The measures came a day after the country's premier announced his resignation, both as prime minister and chairman of the ruling party, Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front.


The last martial law in Ethiopia had lasted for 10 months.


On Oct. 9, 2016, a martial law was declared for six months and later it was extended by another four months; it came to an end in August 2017.


Over the past two years, Ethiopia has been in political turmoil as people in the two largest regions of the country, accounting for more than 60 percent of the over 100 million people, have been holding incessant anti-government demonstrations.