| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Ethiopia parliament lifts wartime state of emergency early

Following the proposal by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet last month to end the emergency period, Ethiopia’s parliament on Tuesday approved an early end to a six-month state of emergency.

The state of emergency was imposed in early November as Tigray forces fighting the Ethiopian government and their allies advanced towards the capital Addis Ababa.

The Tigrayan forces have since withdrawn to their stronghold in the country’s north.

Parliament’s speaker Tagesse Chafo said officials can now use regular law to deal with the country’s security threats.

Tesfaye Beljige, chief government whip, said the the emergency measures was restricting tourism and economic activities. It was “causing more damage that its benefits,” he added.
Thousands of mainly ethnic Tigrayans were detained under the state of emergency, but many were released after December’s shift in the war.

It wasn’t clear if the government would release the rest of the detainees.

Fighting broke out in Tigray in November 2020 after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to topple the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the region’s former ruling party.

The conflict has claimed thousands of lives and pushed hundreds of thousands into famine.

WHO supplies reach Tigray, but fuel shortage stops delivery
The World Health Organisation said it delivered medical supplies to Tigray for the first time since July but could not get the fuel needed to distribute the aid further.

The supplies include antibiotics, medicines for malaria and diabetes, treatment for severe acute malnutrition, reproductive health supplies, and personal protective equipment.
“There is a fuel problem to use and transport these supplies to health centers and hospitals,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said.

The supplies were being stored in the regional capital Mekele.

“We call for fuel to be allowed into Tigray urgently, with the support from national authorities and international partners, so that WHO and partners can meet the humanitarian needs of all Ethiopians,” Jasarevic said.

  • DW