The Ethiopian Defense Ministry confirmed on February 17 that the nationwide state of emergency would remain in place for six months - through the end of August 2018. Associated measures, implemented amid an increasingly tense security environment, include a ban on protests and the production and distribution of publications deemed to incite violence. Parliament is expected to ratify the emergency ruling within the next two weeks; the four-party ruling coalition controls all parliamentary seats.
A heightened security presence is expected in Addis Ababa and other Ethiopian cities. Despite the ban, associated demonstrations and transportation disruptions are possible in the coming weeks and months.
The Ethiopian Council of Ministers announced the implementation of a nationwide state of emergency on February 16, following the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Desalegn is expected to continue to serve as acting prime minister until parliament names a successor.
The move comes amid increasingly rapid reforms undertaken by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in recent weeks. The constituent regional parties of the EPRDF, the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organization (OPDO), and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) have reportedly been locked in a power struggle to replace Desalegn following his resignation.
Individuals in Ethiopia are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid any large gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or their home government.
On a more general note, due to the terrorist threat linked to the Somali group Al-Shabaab, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the Ogaden region and other areas along the border with Somalia, as well as nonessential travel to the rest of the Ethiopian Somali region. The Eritrean, Sudanese, South Sudanese, and Kenyan borders are also considered high-risk destinations.
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