Ethiopia Extends State of Emergency

April 3, 2017

Geopolitical Monitor

Protest March People Africa Ethiopia, cc 2,0 Max Pixel -



Regional powerhouse Ethiopia announced on 28 March that it is extending its state of emergency by another four months, citing warnings from top officials of continued unrest in Africa’s second most populated country. The East African country, which is ruled by a coalition of parties who together form the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is dominated by political leaders from the minority Tigrayan community. Yet ethnic Tigrayans make up just 6% of Ethiopia’s population while the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo people, are severely under-represented in the country’s power structures. This disparity has produced political tensions during the long tenure of the EPRDF – tensions that are only growing now that the ruling party is moving to solidify its grip on power.

The Oromo have been in a state of unrest since late 2015. At issue is the group’s economic marginalization and perceived attempts to confiscate their land for development, particularly around the capital of Addis Ababa. The situation escalated after police arrived to disperse protests at the 2016 Irreecha cultural festival and fired tear gas. The operation sparked a stampede which left at least fifty people dead. Anti-government unrest has also been reported in the northern Amhara areas, home to Ethiopia’s second-largest ethnic community. The Amhara have historically been identified with many of Ethiopia’s rulers, including the deposed former president Mengistu Haile Mariam and the last (ethnically mixed) Emperor Haile Selassie. But the community today feels marginalized by the dominance of the Tigrayans; in turn, the ruling coalition has opted for repression rather than compromise when it comes to meeting either communities’ demands for greater political, economic, and human rights.

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Tags: Ethiopia
  • ቀስቱ ደመቀ

    It is correct and fact Ethiopians are ruled by mafias from Tigray region which is supproted by Usa and Eu because of some embrassibg reasons. But hundred t Ethiopians are suffering one of the most brutal regime in history.

  • I just returned from four years as a professor in Ethiopia, where I taught in a university/medical school there. You have to live there and speak with people to learn just how oppressive the government is. If you just take what the government says and what outside governments and media say, you will never know the true horrors of this dictatorial and terrorist government. I was essentially forced out of the university because it is under tight control by corrupt government party supporters. I saw soldiers beating students; I saw government “informants” even among students in my classes. Students are paid to be informants and if they please the ruling party, they will pass exams even when they fail them, They will end up getting better jobs when they graduate, even if they are poor quality students. You either stay silent or you support the Ruling Party. Any other option, peaceful or not, are not on the table: they will have you eliminated one way or another, and you might end up being beaten, jailed, tortured and murdered, as happened to opposition party members during the 2015 election. God save all of the poor, oppressed and struggling Ethiopians from their wicked, corrupt, neglectful government and all those who support it, regardless of what happens to their fellow citizens!

  • Tragic. one would have thought otherwise.


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