A day after the Secretariat of the Command Post announced the partial lifting of restrictions associated with the state of emergency (SoE) declaration, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn hinted Thursday at the possibility of extending it for more months.
At a press conference held on Wednesday at the Defense Club around Tor Hailoch, the head of the Secretariat of the Command Post, Siraj Fegessa (who is also the minister of Defense), announced that some of the restrictions imposed as a result of the state of emergency have been lifted.
The state of emergency, declared five months ago in the wake of nationwide unrest that resulted in the loss of life and damage to property, has enabled the country to ensure peace and stability at large, according to Siraj.
But at the occasion when Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn appeared before the house to present a six-month performance report, the PM said input from the public would likely induce the government to extend the decree.
Referring to surveys conducted in some parts of the country, the PM noted that close to 82 percent voted in favor of extending the state of emergency. It will be for the House of Peoples’ Representatives to decide whether to extend the state of emergency or not.
He further told MPs that a nation-wide assessment has showed significant improvement of the political situation in formerly volatile areas.
In some parts of the country, however, there were some incidents, which may trigger another round of instability, he added.
The provision prohibiting movement around infrastructural facilities from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am for security reasons was among the lifted restrictions.
Siraj told reporters that the situation, which originally triggered the restrictions, can now be dealt with by regular law-enforcement personnel.
Furthermore, the provision on warrant-less search of premises and arrest of suspects has been lifted.
A provision which has already been repealed is that related to restricting and controlling messages on radio, TV, literature, pictures, photographs, theater and film productions.
Furthermore, the authority bestowed on security forces to retrieve looted government and private properties without a court order has been cancelled.
Moreover, the provision that offenders who have looted public property or those who have participated in illegal riots surrender to security forces within 10 days starting from the issuance of the original decree has been cancelled.