Ethiopia declares state of emergency to repel rebel advance on ...

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Ethiopia declares state of emergency to repel rebel advance on capital

UN alarmed about deteriorating situation as rebels capture towns on the main road to Addis Ababa

Samuel Gebre and Fasika Tadesse

Ethiopia’s government has declared a nationwide state of emergency and called on residents to defend the capital, after rebel fighters captured key towns on a main road that leads to the city.

The decision to suspend the constitution was taken to “ward off a threat that is posed to the survival and sovereignty of the country”, justice minister Gedion Timothewos said on state television on Tuesday. “Since we cannot defend and control this threat with the regular law-enforcement system, the state of emergency proclamation has been approved by the council of ministers.”

The escalating crisis in Ethiopia can further destabilise the Horn of Africa — Sudan is reeling from a coup, while Somalia is struggling to hold long-delayed elections — and enable Islamist insurgents to get a bigger foothold in the volatile region. Tuesday’s announcement came a month after Nobel laureate Abiy Ahmed was sworn in for a second term as prime minister, and almost a year to the day since he launched an offensive on the dissident Tigray region...

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