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Parliament Extends State of Emergency

The House of People’s Representatives extended the state of emergency imposed in the Amhara region in its first extraordinary session of the year.

The house first approved the emergency decree on August 04, 2023, after the conflict between the government and rebel forces in the Amhara region.

On Friday, the draft resolution to extend the Emergency for four more months was proposed by Justice Minister Gedion Timotheos.

Following the enactment of the SoE, the Minister said the region’s security structure has been reorganized well and put into operation. This, he argued, helped to restore peace and stability in the region in collaboration with residents.

Gedion also argued solidifying the gains made and making the existing peace lasting requires extending the state of emergency period.

The necessity of the decision, however, was questioned by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) chief commissioner Daniel Bekele.

Daniel said he was “gravely concerned about the extension and its implications including the conflict casualties, humanitarian crisis, and prolonged pretrial detentions.

The parliament and government “should duly consider the necessity, legality, and proportionality of the SoE,” he said, adding that “dialogue is the key”.

The House eventually ratified the resolution with a majority. Three PMs abstained while two others voted against extending the emergency rule.

Subsequently, House Speaker Tagesse Chafo proposed a motion to extend the terms of the Inquiry Board of the parliament. The motion was approved with the majority vote and two objections.