Chinese investment hotspot and a state of emergency: What’s going on in Ethiopia

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned on February 15 following mass protests. A six-month long state of emergency was imposed by the government the next day, with the intention of quelling civil unrest.

The state of emergency prohibits, among other things, the distribution of potentially sensitive material and unauthorized demonstrations or meetings.

Hailemariam remains in office until a new prime minister is appointed.

Ethiopia is, in essence, a one party state led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition comprising of parties representing different regions of the country.

Tension has been bristling between the powerful Tigray People’s Liberation front, which represents just 6 percent of Ethiopians, and its counterparts representing the Amhara and Oromo ethnic groups. Meanwhile, Hailemariam’s party, the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, is the weakest in the coalition.

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