Gov­ern­ment moves to clamp down on protests

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

The Ethiopian gov­ern­ment has de­clared a state of emer­gency ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing a week of anti-gov­ern­ment vi­o­lence that re­sulted in deaths and prop­erty dam­age across the coun­try, es­pe­cially in the restive Oro­mia re­gion.

In a tele­vised ad­dress yes­ter­day, Ethiopia’s Prime Min­is­ter Haile­mariam De­salegn said the state of emer­gency was de­clared be­cause there has been “enor­mous” dam­age to prop­erty.

“We put our cit­i­zens’ safety first. Be­sides, we want to put an end to the dam­age that is be­ing car­ried out against in­fra­struc­ture projects, ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions, health cen­tres, ad­min­is­tra­tion and jus­tice build­ings,” said De­salegn on the state Ethiopian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

“The re­cent devel­op­ments in Ethiopia have put the in­tegrity of the na­tion at risk,” he said.

“The state of emer­gency will not breach ba­sic hu­man rights en­shrined un­der the Ethiopian con­sti­tu­tion and won’t also af­fect diplo­matic rights listed un­der the Vi­enna Con­ven­tion,” said De­salegn.

The in­ter­net is blocked across many parts of Ethiopia, res­i­dents re­ported Sun­day. The gov­ern­ment has blocked the in­ter­net for more than a week to pre­vent protesters from us­ing so­cial me­dia to get sup­port­ers to at­tend protests.

Ma­jor towns and cities across Ethiopia’s Oro­mia re­gion are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­rest and wide­spread vi­o­lent protests of peo­ple de­mand­ing wider free­doms. More than 50 peo­ple were killed on Oc­to­ber 2 in a stam­pede trig­gered when po­lice fired tear gas and bul­lets to dis­perse protestors at the an­nual Ir­recha thanks­giv­ing cel­e­bra­tion in Bishoftu town.

An Amer­i­can woman was killed last week when she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters. Some busi­nesses have been tar­geted be­cause of sus­pected links to the gov­ern­ment, which is pro­mot­ing Ethiopia as one of Africa’s top-per­form­ing economies.

The state-af­fil­i­ated Fana Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­rate said the at­tacks on fac­to­ries in Se­beta town on the out­skirts of the cap­i­tal, Ad­dis Ababa, af­fected more than 40,000 work­ers. Tex­tile, plas- tic, ce­ment and bot­tled-wa­ter fac­to­ries have been tar­geted.

Anti-gov­ern­ment protests con­tin­ued yes­ter­day. Many roads into and out of the cap­i­tal, Ad­dis Ababa, are blocked by protesters and those who try to drive through are tar­geted by peo­ple who jump out from be­hind bushes and hurl rocks, wit­nesses told the As­so­ci­ated Press by phone on Sun­day.

CRACK­DOWN: Sol­diers stop protesters fol­low­ing a deadly stam­pede

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