Ethiopia Declares National State of Emergency
Following the abrupt resignation of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the nation has declared a state of emergency. Desalegn hoped his action would end civil unrest in Ethiopia. “I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy,” Desalegn said. This follows hundreds of people dying in anti-government protests for more inclusive political rights for the Oromo people, a group that makes up over about 61 percent of the country’s population. The Oromo have been repeatedly marginalized by the current government. In August of 2017 Ethiopia’s government lifted a 10-month state of emergency that attempted, and failed, to curb demonstrations. The state of emergency, which went into effect on Friday, currently has no expected timeframe.
Mass Shooting in Parkland Florida
17 people were killed in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, opened fire in the hallways, firing into five classrooms. The shooting lasted for three minutes and ended when Cruz dropped his backpack filled with ammo and exited the building, blending in with evacuating students. He was apprehended after leaving a McDonald’s. Cruz has confessed to the crime and is facing 17 charges of premeditated murder. He purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the shooting legally as an 18-year-old. The public responded with an outcry for more gun control. Victims of the shooting are also speaking out about gun control. “We need to do something,” said Douglas senior David Hogg. “We need to get out there and be politically active. Congress needs to get over their political bias with each other and work toward saving children’s lives.”
South Africa’s President Resigns
South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma announced his resignation on Wednesday. This resignation comes after years of allegations of corruption surrounding the well-known political figure, as well as a recent raid on the home of the Gupta family, Zuma’s wealthy associates who are accused of using their wealth for political sway. Zuma, President since 2009, agreed to resign following a no-confidence vote of the African National Congress, Zuma’s own political party. “No life should be lost in my name,” said Zuma in a televised broadcast. “The ANC should never be divided in my name. I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president.” He assured the people that “as I leave I will continue to serve the people of South Africa as well as the ANC, the organization I have served … all of my life.” He is succeeded by Cyril Ramaphosa, who was sworn in on Thursday as the new President of South Africa. In an address to Parliament, shortly after being sworn in, Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude, saying, “I truly feel humbled to have been given this great privilege of being able to serve our people,” promising to act as a “servant of our people.”