Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers on Wednesday declared a six-month State of Emergency in the northern Tigray regional state where a war is going on between the central and regional governments.The State of Emergency was declared in accordance with article 93/1/A of the Ethiopian constitution, according to a statement issued by the office of the Prime Minister.
The article provides the power for the Council of Ministers to decree a state of emergency in case of a breakdown of law and order which endangers constitutional order, natural disaster or an epidemic occurs.
The Council declared the State of Emergency “recognizing the constitutional responsibility of the government to maintain the country’s peace, the safety and security of its citizens and to prevent acts that may lead the country to further unrest and instability,” the statement noted.
Moreover, “the illegal and violent activities within the Tigray regional state are endangering the constitution and constitutional order, public peace and security, specially threatening the country’s sovereignty, seriously impeding the Federal Government from discharging its constitutional responsibility in the region, violating decisions of the House of Federation,” it noted.
The statement added that the State of Emergency decree came “understanding that this situation has reached a level where it cannot be prevented and controlled through the regular law enforcement mechanisms.”
A task force led by Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and composed of representatives from pertinent institutions has been established to oversee the implementation of the State of Emergency, the statement stated.
The taskforce, named “State of Emergency Taskforce” is accountable to the Prime Minister. The State of Emergency shall be applicable throughout the regional state.
It is recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Wednesday morning ordered the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) to start military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which allegedly attacked a military camp in Tigray region.