Washington D.C. [United States], Oct. 10 (ANI
): A six-month nationwide state of emergency has been declared in Ethiopia following months of anti-government protests.
It is the first time a state of emergency has been put in place in Ethiopia since the ruling party came to power 25 years ago, reports the CNN.
Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
said through state media that the steps are being taken to restore the order following increasing protests around the country.
The protestors include the Oromos who are Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, making up at least a third of the country's 100 million people.
Tension between the Oromo and the government grew recently as the government promoted development that took over their farmland
The CNN quoted the Prime Minister as saying, "The state of emergency was declared following a thorough discussion by the Council of Ministers on the loss of lives and property damages occurring in the country."
According to local media reports, he said that they want to put an end to the damage that was being carried out against infrastructure projects, health centres and administration and justice buildings.
Local media claims that officials in the country have shut down mobile the internet service and have blocked social media in most parts of Oromia, the largest of Ethiopia's nine regional states.
Protestors are also in fury following the death of at least 52 people on October 2, during the Oromo
holy festival known as Irreechaa.
Activists in Ethiopia
have, however, disputed the government's accounts and the official death toll of 52. They claim that the security forces had fired bullets and tear gas on the crowd and in which around 500 people died.
However, the government held "troublemakers" responsible for the clashes, and disputed the claims that security forces had fired on protesters. (ANI