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Ethiopia north Amhara regional state drop charges against 224

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia’s northern Amhara regional state has dropped charges against 224 people, state-affiliated media Radio Fana said on Friday.

Bisrat Abera, a senior official at Amhara regional state justice bureau, said the 224 were originally accused of participating in terrorism, vandalism and riots.

Many among Ethnic Amharas, who make up about 28 percent of Ethiopia’s population, accuse the central government in Addis Ababa of economic and political marginalization.

Parts of Amhara regional state, along with parts of Oromia and Southern regional states, experienced deadly anti-government protests in 2016 that left hundreds dead and thousands others imprisoned.

The 2016 unrest was dubbed by analysts as the gravest challenge to the ruling coalition, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, in 25 years.

It led to an imposition of martial law in October 2016, which was lifted in August 2017.

However, martial law was re-imposed on Friday after the reappearance in recent months of sporadic protests and strikes, especially in Amhara and Oromia regional states.

The persistence of deadly protests has renewed fears over Ethiopia’s stability.


Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front declares 'martial law'

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia on Friday declared martial law amid sporadic protests in its two largest regional states, Amhara and Oromia, state media reported.

The reports did not specify how long the martial law which will be applied across the country of 100 million people.

The move came a day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn tendered his resignation.

In recent months, internal political wrangling among four coalition partners of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front has cast fears over the country’s stability.

Ethiopia has also been reeling from deadly protests since 2016, especially in the two most populous regional states of Amhara and Oromia, over alleged political and economic marginalization.

'Ethiopia ruling party has no plans for martial law' - official

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia has no plans to impose martial law in the wake of the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, an official said on Friday.

Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Negeri Lencho, Minister of Ethiopia Government Communication Affairs Office, said speculations about martial law are groundless and unfounded.

"Martial law won’t be a solution to people’s economic and democratic demands, and those who speculate that martial law will be imposed don’t understand the legal framework under which it will be issued," he said.

Ethiopia had declared martial law in October 2016 in the wake of widespread protests in parts of the two most populous regional states of Amhara and Oromia.

The martial law was lifted in August 2017, after the easing of protests.

The unrest in 2016 led to the deaths of hundreds and was dubbed by analysts as the gravest challenge the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, faced in 25 years.

However, sporadic deadly protests especially in Amhara and Oromia regional states in recent months have renewed fears about Ethiopia’s stability, East Africa’s largest economy.

Protesters accuse the central government based in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa of marginalizing their political and economic demands.



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