By Addis Getachew
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
The Ethiopian parliament Thursday has extended by four months the state of emergency put in place last October following series of violent protests in the Amhara and Oromia regional states.
The House of People’s representatives voted unanimously to extend the duration of the state of emergency that was due to end on April 9.
Ethiopia imposed martial law a week after Oct. 2 protests in the south-central town of Bishoftu saw scores killed in a stampede when security forces fired bullets and teargas to disperse protesters.
Many towns in Oromia -- the largest and most populous regional state in Ethiopia -- then witnessed violent protests.
The Bishoftu incidents constituted a high point in a series of anti-government protests that have raged since 2014 in the two states that make up most of Ethiopia’s population of nearly 100 million.
Mid-March, the country announced the easing of some of the restrictions imposed under the state of emergency such as the clause that prohibits movements near factories and major industries from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.