State of Emergency Decree Mandates Task Force Take Actions

November 5 , 2020



The task force formed to execute the state of the emergency decree in Tigray Regional State can impose curfews, prohibit any movement of firearms in the Regional State, halt any kind or mode of transportation from and to the Regional State, and cut off any communication lines in the Regional State, according to Attorney General Gedion Timotios (PhD).

Chaired by the Chief of Staff of the Army, the task force has members named by the Prime Minister. Mandated to mobilise all the defence forces in the country and undertake various measures, the task force directly reports to the Prime Minister.

It can also close off any briefings that instigate war and break the constitutional order, remove the badges of members of the police or any other defence forces, order citizens to stay in one place or an area, as well as raid private houses without a court warrant, according to the Attorney General, who briefed members of the media today on the mandates and responsibilities of the task force.

"The implementation space of the state of emergency is not limited to geographic space or time,” he said. "However, it will mainly be implemented in Tigray Regional State.”

If the task force believes the geographic space of the decree needs to expand or narrow, then it can order the expansion of the state of emergency decree, according to Gedion.

This morning lawmakers legislated the bill to declare a state of emergency. The bill was approved and endorsed by the Council of Ministers for "the prevention of constitution and constitutional order in the Regional State." Tuesday night, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) ordered a military offensive against forces in Tigray Regional State, citing an alleged attack on the military's Northern Command.

The parliament has also approved the appointment of the seven-member state of emergency inquiry board, which is chaired by Lemma Tessema. Members of the board are drawn from the parliament, except for Wondimu Gizaw, a legal expert.

Attempts to reach officials from Tigray Regional State bore no fruit since communications have been cut off.



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