Ethiopia's state of emergency: Angela Merkel urges protests to be allowed

Ethiopia declared on Sunday a six-month state of emergency over anticipated threats "posed by forces working in collaboration with foreign enemies to undermine the safety of the people and security and stability of the country", according to the Ethiopian News Agency.

"Egypt does not interfere in any country's domestic affairs", Egypt's ambassador to Ethiopia Abu Bakr Hefny told the East African country's state minister for foreign affairs Taye Atske-Selassie, according to a statement issued on Sunday by the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs.

Hailemariam said the state of emergency was effective from Oct.8.

"Jiangsu Sunshine Group, a Chinese textiles company, demonstrated that confidence by signing a "final agreement" to invest $500 million over four years at a factory in an industrial park in Adama city in Oromia region", Fitsum said.

Getachew said the "extraordinary situation" demanded the state of emergency but insisted it did not amount to a "blanket ban on civilian life".

The protests of Oromo citizens started in November 2015, when the government planned to expand the boundaries of the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

Rights advocate, Felix Horne, said as more people were killed in protests this year, the government should urgently change course to prevent more bloodshed.

Getachew Reda said the foreign elements are arming and financing opposition groups, but not necessarily with the formal backing of their governments.

The state of emergency allows the government to detain suspects without court authorization and also prohibits the distribution of material that is likely to incite more "chaos", Reuters reported. The most recent protests started on October 2 after dozens of people died in clashes with government security forces during a holy festival celebrated by the country's Oromo people.

Multiples sources told Sudan Tribune that protesters have so far attacked 11 factories, destroyed public and government properties since attacks in the region began. "They want total control on everything", said Beyene Petros, chairman of the Medrek opposition coalition.

Protesters say violence by the security forces led to the stampede, but the PM denied security forces had opened fire.

The Oromo and the Amhara make up about 60% of the population.

Frustrations about mistreatment by the central government have long festered in Oromiya and Amhara, where new industries and foreign flower farms have sprung up.

Since the protests by these two major ethnic groups broke out a year ago, the government has done little or nothing to attend to the yearnings of the Oromo and Amhara people. That's where many in a massive crowd that had gathered to celebrate the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival chanted slogans and crossed their fists over their heads, an increasingly familiar gesture that protests oppression and calls for more rights for the people of Oromia.

  • Leroy Wright