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

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A state of emergency gives the federal government authority over all security forces, including local militias and regional police, said Ethiopia researcher Rene Lefort.

"We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government's decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression, " the statement said.

The highest-ranking Amhara in the ruling coalition is Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen. It is the second state of emergency in two years and comes a day after the prime minister resigned.

The duration of the state of emergency was not specified during the evening state TV broadcast.

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In a gathering by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers on Friday, the priests said a military law would likewise be authorized adequately from Friday.

On Thursday Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced his surprise resignation, saying he wanted to be part of a solution to the crisis and steadfast ongoing reforms.

The government previously imposed a state of emergency in October 2016, which was lifted in August past year.

Numerous prisoners took part in anti-government protests in 2015 and 2016 in the country's two most populous provinces, whose ethnic Oromo and Amharic communities complain they are under-represented in the country's corridors of power.

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The U.S. Embassy to Ethiopia on Saturday released a statement opposing the most recent state of emergency declaration.

10 people were killed in an anti-governmental demonstration in Ethiopia a few days back. The ruling EPRDF coalition controls all the seats in parliament.

Over the past two years, Ethiopia has been in political turmoil as people in the two largest regions of the country, accounting for more than 60 percent of the over 100 million people, have been holding incessant anti-government demonstrations.

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