ADDIS ABABA. — In a surprise move, Ethiopia’s leader yesterday announced plans to drop charges against political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp in what he called an effort to “widen the democratic space for all.”
Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn’s comments came after anti-government protests engulfed much of the restive Oromia and Amhara regions in recent months, bringing many businesses, universities and transport networks to a standstill.
The sometimes deadly protests, the most serious since the current government came to power in 1991, spread into other parts of the East African country, leading to a months-long state of emergency that has since been lifted. — AP