ETHIOPIA’s government declared a state of emergency yesterday in response to weeks of anti-government rioting that have led to scores of deaths.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in a televised address that he had taken the step in response to “enormous” property damage by rioters.
“We put our citizens’ safety first. 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.”
Demonstrations continued, with several roads into the capital Addis Ababa blockaded by protesters.
Last week rioters attacked businesses said to be linked to the government in Sebeta, on the outskirts of the capital, where some 40,000 workers are employed.
Aside from the riots, police have repeatedly shot at peaceful protesters calling for political reform, killing dozens.