The state of emergency was imposed in early November as Tigray rebels fighting Ethiopian forces moved closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.

Fighting broke out in Tigray in November 2020 after the government sent troops to topple the TPLF, the region's former ruling party.
Fighting broke out in Tigray in November 2020 after the government sent troops to topple the TPLF, the region's former ruling party. (AFP)

Ethiopia's parliament has lifted a state of emergency imposed last November when Tigrayan rebels threatened to advance on the capital, easing restrictions earlier than expected.

"The House of Peoples' Representatives of #Ethiopia has approved today the lifting of the six-month state of emergency," the foreign ministry said on Tuesday on Twitter.

The vote by lawmakers followed a proposal by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's cabinet last month to ease the state of emergency, which was initially supposed to last until May.

The state of emergency was declared on November 2 after fighters from the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) seized two crucial towns about 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Addis Ababa.

The measure triggered mass detentions of ethnic Tigrayans in Addis Ababa and elsewhere, sparking condemnation from rights groups including Amnesty International.

READ MORE: Ethiopian army: We will enter Tigray to eliminate the enemy

'Corrective measure'

The Ethiopian parliament speaker said security threats in the Amhara, Afar, Benishangul Gumuz and Gambella regions and the Wellega area in the Oromia region will be dealt with by a new “corrective measure” that is being put in place.

Addis Ababa announced it would not pursue the rebels into Tigray, but in recent weeks, residents and aid workers have reported a string of air strikes targeting the region.

The TPLF last month announced a military operation in the neighbouring Afar region, saying the move was in response to attacks by pro-government forces, dampening hopes of a ceasefire.

The grinding conflict has left thousands dead and forced many others to flee their homes with hundreds of thousands driven to the brink of starvation, according to the United Nations.

READ MORE: Ethiopia blames TPLF for Afar region 'massacres', 300,000 displacements

Source: TRTWorld and agencies