Ethiopia’s cabinet has declared a nationwide state of emergency effective immediately and authorities in Addis Ababa told citizens to prepare to defend the capital, as fighters from the northern region of Tigray threatened to march towards the city. The six-month state of emergency allows, among other things, for roadblocks to be established, transport services to be disrupted, curfews to be imposed and for the military to take over in certain areas. Anyone suspected of having links with “terrorist” groups could also be detained without a court warrant, while any citizen who has reached the age of military service could be called to fight. The move came after the Tigrayan fighters said they had captured the strategic towns of Dessie and Kombolcha in the neighbouring Amhara region in recent days, and also indicated they might advance further south, on Addis Ababa. Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications blackout and access for journalists is restricted, making battlefield claims difficult to verify independently.
SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES