World Bulletin / News Desk
The state of emergency was lifted with a sweeping majority vote -- only 8 abstentions and no opposition -- in a 547-seat House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament.
The state of emergency was imposed for a period of six months following years of unrest -- a second one after the October 2016 martial law that lasted for ten months.
Speaking at the house, most parliamentarians said there were relative peace across the country, rendering the state of emergency irrelevant.
However, a few parliamentarians expressed reservations over the recent clashes in Borena and Gedeo zones in Oromia and southern Ethiopia regional states respectively that resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.
Ethiopia has been relatively seeing revival of hope after new Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed -- Africa’s youngest leader to date -- came to power.
In his 60 days in power, Abiy, who hailed from the Oromo -- the largest ethnic group in the country -- delivered on much of the promises he made including release of political prisoners.
Defense Minister Motuma Mekasa told parliamentarians that the State of Emergency has more harm than good.
Admitting that there had been instances of unrest in some parts, the minister said those kinds of problems could be tackled by taking political measures and handled by regional security forces.
“Those kinds of problems were taking place with or without the state of emergency,” he said, adding the state of emergency had negative impact on tourism and smooth flow of investment in the country.
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