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The House of People’s Representatives has passed a nearly unanimous decision to extend the state of emergency first declared in August 2023. Human rights bodies have urged the government to consider the impact of the decision.

Only two MPs voted against the motion to prolong the six-month state of emergency (SoE) declared following clashes between armed groups in the Amhara region and government security forces. Although the state of emergency is technically restricted to the Amhara Regional State, it grants the federal government the right to exercise emergency powers wherever it sees fit in the country.

Gedion Timotiwos (PhD), minister of Justice, argued for the need for an extension before Parliament today, although the session was closed to the media.

Daniel Bekele (PhD), head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has voiced concerns over the extension.

“[The Commission] is gravely concerned about the extension of emergency powers and implications on human rights including the conflict casualties, humanitarian crisis and prolonged pretrial detentions. HPR and government should duly consider the necessity, legality and proportionality of the SoE,” he tweeted today.

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Parliament has declared a state of emergency no less than four times in the last five years.

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