Following violent demonstrations by two of Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups, the government has declared a six-month state of emergency. The Oromo and the Amhara are protesting that power is held by the Tigrean minority who are the elite.
The protests reached a peak following the death of 55 people at a protest in Oromia. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a televised address: “We put our citizens’ safety first. Besides, we want to put an end to the damage that is being carried out against infrastructure projects, education institutions, health centres, administration and justice buildings.”
The state of emergency is the first in 25 years for Ethiopia and the government says it is to “deal with anti-peace elements that have allied with foreign forces and are jeopardising the peace and security of the country”.