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Ethiopia lifts state of emergency imposed in February

Parliament approves a bill to end the emergency rule two months earlier than planned, local broadcaster reports.

Ethiopia has lifted the state of emergency in the East African country, imposed in February following the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn after months of protests.

Parliament approved a bill on Tuesday to end the emergency rule two months earlier than planned, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported.

Mass protests erupted in 2015 when anti-government demonstrations broke out among the Oromo, Ethiopia's biggest ethnic group, and later spread to the Amhara, the second biggest group.

The protests, which initially began over land rights but later broadened to include calls for greater political representation at the national level, were met with a harsh government response.

In August 2017, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after hundreds of people were killed in anti-government protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Since the election of Abiy Ahmed, the first Oromo prime minister in the country's history, the authorities have pledged to push through a raft of reforms.

Abiy has travelled to several areas of the country, promising to address grievances and strengthen a range of political and civil rights.

In addition, several thousands of prisoners have been released and tensions in restive areas, notably Oromia, have dramatically declined.

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