Ethiopia declares state of emergency

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests

The announcement said the state of emergency was deemed necessary to quell unrest in various parts of the country and to prevent destruction of public property.

A state of emergency imposed in Ethiopia on Friday after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (above photo) resigned includes a ban on protests and publications inciting violence, Ethiopian Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa said on Saturday.

The state of emergency is to be declared amidst increasing power struggle, especially between the OPDO and ANDM, to replace the outgoing Prime Minister.

Both the EPRDF and Desalegn's party, the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement, agreed to accept his resignation and he said he hopes Parliament will do the same.

The government had cited "ethnic-based clashes" and "chaos and unruliness" as the reasons for the move.

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

"Peace and stability should be brought by the negotiation amongst people and the government".

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Hundreds of people have died in three years of unrest in the country. But rights groups have often criticised the government for clamping down on political opponents and the media.

"I myself want to become part of the solution", he said in announcing his resignation on Thursday.

10 people were killed in an anti-governmental demonstration in Ethiopia a few days back.

Thousands of prisoners were since pardoned or released from custody, including some of the country's most prominent dissidents.

This week disenchanted young men wielding sticks and rocks meanwhile blocked roads and businesses stayed shuttered in and around the capital Addis Ababa.

The strike was called off after detained Oromo politicians were freed along with hundreds of other prisoners, including journalist Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage.

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