Ethiopia says emergency rule to last six months

State of emergency in Ethiopia as country's prime minister resigns

Ethiopia said Saturday that a state of emergency will remain in place for six months, as the authorities banned protests to quell what they termed "chaos and unruliness" despite condemnation from key ally the United States.

"The current situation in the country has come to a point where it can't be handled with normal peace-protecting mechanisms", said a statement issued by the Council of Ministers and read on the state broadcaster, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corp., on Friday evening.

The last state of emergency in 2016, which lasted for nine months, came after months of deadly protests in Oromia and the neighboring Amhara region.Some 29,000 people were detained under the decree, while rights groups claimed people were beaten and subjected to arbitrary detentions.

A national state of emergency has been declared in Ethiopia just one day after the unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Announcing his resignation in a televised address on Thursday, Hailemariam Desalegn said he was stepping down to allow the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to better implement political reforms.

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State-affiliated Fana Broadcast Corporate also reported Siraj dismissing "as false rumours of military takeover of the government". But rights groups have often criticised the government for clamping down on political opponents and the media. "It has been decided that a state of emergency is needed to protect the constitutional order of the country".

A statement by the state broadcaster said the move was necessary to stem a wave of anti-government protests.

. The board included it would discharge more points of interest on Saturday.

10 people were killed in an anti-governmental demonstration in Ethiopia a few days back. Those released included several prominent opposition leaders and well-known journalist Eskinder Nega, a critic of the government.

It is unclear who will take over from Hailemariam or when that decision will be made.

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