Ethiopia relaxes emergency measures that followed protests

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) " Ethiopia's government on Wednesday lifted parts of the state of emergency imposed in October while claiming the "restoration of law and order in many parts of the country," the state broadcaster reported.

The Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation cited Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa as saying that arbitrary arrests without court orders and conducting searches without court papers will stop.

Also being lifted are bans and restrictions imposed on radio, television and theater. Dawn-to-dusk prohibitions on unauthorized movements around infrastructure facilities and factories have been repealed.

This East African country declared the six-month state of emergency on Oct. 9 after nearly a year of anti-government protests that human rights groups say left hundreds dead. It was some of the country's worst violence since the ruling party came to power in 1991, and rights groups have accused the government of using excessive force.

The protests started in November 2015 when ethnic Oromos protested against proposed land seizures to add to Addis Ababa city. Protesters said the plan was aimed at expanding the capital's administrative control into Oromia.

The violence then spread to the Amhara region in the north and beyond, with people calling on the government to end arbitrary arrests, respect regional autonomy and respect rights enshrined in the constitution.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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