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Ethiopia: New crackdown sees ‘many thousands’ of Tigrayans arrested

By The Africa Report
Posted on Monday, 15 November 2021 09:31

Ethiopian PM's backers hold a rally in support of national army in Addis Ababa
Members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force are seen during a pro-government rally to denounce what the organisers say is the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Western countries' interference in internal affairs of the country, at Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Thousands of Tigrayans have been detained in a wave of mass arrests under a state of emergency introduced in Ethiopia earlier this month. Witnesses and rights groups claim the arrests are ethnically-motivated.

The emergency order requires people to carry their IDs at all times and allows the police to arrest and detain, without a warrant, anyone suspected of working with terrorist groups, such as the outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). It also gives the authorities powers to close roads, impose curfews, conduct searches and revoke licenses of media and civil society organisations.

One clause in the order appears to pave the way for conscription by granting a new emergency command the ability to order citizens in possession of private firearms to take military training. Another clause allows the command to dissolve local government structures.