Martial Law declared in SNNPR of Ethiopia region

July 24, 2019 (GMN) - Federal Security Forces took over security duties in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region a region that has been rocked by radical Sidama ethno-nationalists who declared an ethnic Sidama Federal state on July 18, 2019 castin aside all the legal and administrative procedures.

It is in effect as of Tuesday and remains in place indefinitely, according to a report by government media outlets.

According to a statement by Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) media on Tuesday, the security arrangement was asked for by the regional government as violence escalated in the region.

A Command Post, a body which will be overseeing security operations among other things, is established.

Under the latest arrangement, all zones in the region, not just Sidama zone, that is put under Federal government security forces in addition to Ethiopian Defense Forces.

The statement from SNNPR did not explain why security forces needed to be deployed in the parts of SNNPR which were not affected by Sidama radical nationalists’ attack against non-Sidama ethnic groups.

However, it has stated the new, and temporary, security arrangement is intended to enforce the rule of law and protect the lives and properties of citizens.

Detail of the arrangement is yet to be disclosed to the public.

Ethiopia has gone through at least two similar security challenges in South-Eastern and Western part of the country since Abiy Ahmed took over the office of the prime minister in April 2018.  

Many citizens are questioning if a crisis management approach is a right way to address Ethiopia’s problem.

Hopes were high when Prime Minister Abiy took over the office that he would fix conflict breading political arrangement and unify the country.