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Addis Abeba Nov. 11/2016 – The Inquiry Board established to look into the conduct of Ethiopia’s six-month State of Emergency said today that 11, 607 were detained in the wake of nationwide anti-government protests. Of those 347 were females. The board also published several detention camps throughout the country where detains are being held.

Accordingly, the inquiry board said detainees were held in Addis Abeba, Bahir Dar, Tolay, Yirgalem Awash, Ziway, Yirgalem and Tolay detention camps located in different parts of the country.

A ministerial cabinet meeting of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) government, chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam, has declared a state of emergency throughout the country effective Oct. 08, 2016.

The decision to declare a state of emergency followed intensive protests, particularly in Oromia regional state, following mass death of civilians at the annual Irreecha festival last Sunday Oct. 2nd.  A hysteric stampede was caused as a result of security officers’ act of firing live ammunition and rubber bullets into the air, as well as teargas bombs in the middle of major parts of a gathering of millions.

The EPRDF led government in Ethiopia has seen unprecedented public protests which began on November 12, 2015, in Oromia regional state and was followed by another protest in Amhara regional state. Although protests in the two regions were largely peaceful, the last few months have seen violence spreading fast which resulted in protesters attacking foreign owned business in several parts of the country. Latest reports indicate that Ethiopia is also experiencing a collapse of its tourism industry.

On Wednesday Nov. 8th, Ethiopia’s Defense Minister, Siraj Fegessa, told reporters that the command post established to implement Ethiopia’s six-months State of Emergency, and is led by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, has fully lifted article 18 of the state of emergency which restricted diplomats’ travels beyond 40km outside of the capital Addis Abeba. AS

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