By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
December 21, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia on Wednesday began releasing thousands of detainees who had been arrested under the state emergency decree.
- Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn (Allafrica)
In October Ethiopia declared a six-month long state emergency after violent protests in Oromia and Amhara regions, claimed hundreds of lives.
The state emergency command post disclosed that a total of 9,800 suspects would be released. The first round of 4,035 individuals were freed on Wednesday.
The suspects were released after receiving over a month-long training on different areas including on nation’s constitution, rule of law, color revolution and Renaissance.
Government officials told Sudan Tribune that the released detainees have expressed remorse and promised not only to abide by the constitution but also to safeguard it by teaching others per lessons learned during their training period.
Officials further said those freed had been handled per the constitution.
Ethiopian prime minster, Hailemariam Desalegn, who addressed those being freed today at Tolay center in oromia region promised his government would do all the necessary support to integrate them into their normal life.
The primer said the training aimed to create relevant awareness raising would help them to peacefully exercise the freedom of expression.
Since last year the horn of Africa’s nation had faced an unprecedented wave of protests in Oromia and Amhara regions demanding territory, political and economic rights.
While admitting his government’s weak sides in handling the recent violence, Hailemariam, vow to reform demands of the public and particularly the youth.
However urged them to exercise their demands per the constitution and discharg full responsibly in safeguarding, peace, democracy and development.
According to the the state emergency inquiry board, over 24,000 people have been arrested since the state emergency decree was declared in October.