ADDIS ABABA, July 18 (Xinhua) — The Command Post, a special entity established to watch over the implementation of Ethiopia’s state of emergency which came into effect last October, hailed its nine-month performance as successful.
Africa’s second most populous nation has been under a state of emergency period for the last nine months, following the Ethiopian parliament’s decision on March 30 to extend the initial six-month period by additional four months.
Siraj Fegessa, Ethiopia’s Defense Minister and Secretariat of the Command Post, speaking at a meeting on Tuesday organized to evaluate the nine-month performance report of the Command Post, said that the implementation of the state of emergency has improved Ethiopia’s peace and security situation.
Fegessa further commended the general public’s contribution, together with security officials, for the success gained in the reported period.
The country declared the first six-month state of emergency in October last year due to violent demonstrations that erupted in some parts of the country, in which, according to a recent report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, 669 Ethiopians were killed in connection with the demonstrations.
Ethiopia’s defense minister further affirmed that works are underway to bring those responsible to justice. He also indicated that further extension of the state of emergency period “will be decided by relevant bodies.”
Ethiopia’s state of emergency, during its initial days, had imposed various restrictions such as curfews, social media blocks, and a ban on diplomats traveling more than 40 km outside the capital Addis Ababa without approval.
Much of these restrictions were, however, lifted as the country’s peace and security situation improved.