state of the nation

Ethiopia: Abiy declares national state of emergency as rebels advance south

By Fred Harter

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Posted on November 2, 2021 18:51

Ethiopia declared a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday evening 2 November after rebel groups claimed they had captured a series of strategic towns in the country’s Amhara region, bringing them closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.

The new measures, which the government said were needed to stave off “imminent threats against the existence of the nation”, grant the authorities sweeping powers to impose curfews, revoke media licences and arrest individuals without a warrant if they are suspected of aiding terrorist groups. They are due to be in place for six months but can be terminated by the federal parliament before then.

The announcement came after the city administration of Addis Ababa urged residents to organise in defence of the capital and ordered them to register firearms with the police. It also said searches would be carried out at private homes.

Amhara state already imposed emergency measures on Sunday as the war escalated, including orders for civilian vehicles to be requisitioned for military use and an order for all government offices to cease daily business. The same day, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

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