News Alert: State of Emergency Operation Command issues new guideline to curb price hikes, security measures to restore law and order in Amhara state

Addis Abeba, December 23, 2021- The State of Emergency Operation Command said it has reviewed the implementation thus far of the nationwide State of emergency at a meeting held tonight.

In a statement released late this evening, the Operation Command thanked various sections of the society who it said have contributed their energy, knowledge, skills and money to the realization of the achievement so far. It further said that it was working to ensure that these victories are “sustainable and secure”, but it said it has identified the following actions should be taken by the community, administrative authorities and the security forces.

First, the Operation Command warned that some people who want to take advantage of the society’s problems have resorted to imposing unreasonable price hikes due to the fact that parts of the Diaspora community were coming home. “Because this is hurting the poor, the government is taking the necessary steps to control and enforce the rule of law”, the statement said, adding that trade bureaus and law enforcement agencies have been instructed to take the necessary actions against those who resorted to economically unreasonable hikes on the cost of basic necessities and services.

Second, the Operation Command said it noted that efforts to restore law and order and address basic social problems in areas cleared from the Tigrayan forces were not being implemented consistently. As a result, “security problems and criminal activities are plaguing the community in these areas”. Therefore, the Operation Command cautioned the Amhara Regional State Government to “immediately organize its local administration with competent leaders”, and for the regular police force and security forces “to intensify their operations.” In areas where these are not implemented effectively “the national defense forces are ordered to take legal actions against those who pose a threat to security in these areas.”

Thirdly, the Operation Command said that illegal structures in areas that were controlled by Tigrayan forces were established, and activities such as “issuing of illegal IDs using old seals of the previous administration and inventing new illegal seals were undertaken.” It was also found that various illegal administrative documents were also prepared, the statement said. “Local authorities and security forces were ordered to confiscate these stamps, IDs, and other documents” issued by the Tigrayan forces.

Last, in areas that were cleared from the Tigrayan forces, “illegal arms smuggling and enemy-sponsored weapons have been identified as potential threats to public order and security.” As a result, the Operation Command said “local special forces and police officers are immediately ordered to take actions” to bring public order. “In areas where these [local security forces] are not strong enough, the defense forces are ordered to take the necessary actions,” the statement concluded. Dispatch   

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