Coronavirus: Ethiopia Extends Partial Closure of Federal Courts

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian government announced today federal courts will remain closed for at least a month as part of measure to contain coronavirus pandemic.

Federal courts have been partially closed since mid-march. During this period, courts have stopped accepting new files with the exception of cases that require urgent action.

“The partial closure of Federal courts is extended for 23 additional working days,” said Meaza Ashenafi, Ethiopia’s Supreme Court President, in a statement issued today.

The decision was made after the Supreme Court president held discussion with health minister Dr. Lia Tadesse over the status of the virus in the country.

She said courts “will continue handling urgent cases including cases that affect life, liberty and public safety”.

The latest move to close courts came on the backdrop of other stringent measures that the Ethiopia introduced over the past few weeks, including the closing of schools, ordering federal workers to work from home and more

On Tuesday, the electoral board of Ethiopia decided it will postpone general elections that were scheduled for the end of August because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The East African nation has 27 confirmed cases of the virus. Voter registration was supposed to start on April 22 and campaigns a little more than a month later.

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