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Ethiopia Lifts Wartime State of Emergency

Ethiopia’s parliament on Tuesday lifted a state of emergency imposed last November when Tigrayan rebels threatened to advance on the capital, the foreign ministry said.

“The House of Peoples’ Representatives of #Ethiopia has approved today the lifting of the six-month state of emergency,” the ministry said on Twitter.

The vote by lawmakers followed a proposal by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed‘s cabinet last month to ease the state of emergency, which was initially supposed to last six months.

The state of emergency was declared on November 2 after fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) seized two crucial towns about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Addis Ababa.

The measure triggered mass detentions of ethnic Tigrayans in Addis Ababa and elsewhere, sparking condemnation from rights groups including Amnesty International.

The state of emergency coincided with a mass mobilization campaign credited — along with drone strikes — with pushing the TPLF back into Tigray, with the rebels’ withdrawal in December raising hopes of an end to the 15-month war.

But the TPLF last month announced a military operation in the neighboring Afar region, saying the move was in response to attacks by pro-government forces, dampening hopes of a ceasefire.

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