ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia needs to "consolidate gains" after the deadly unrest last year before it can lift a state of emergency that was imposed in October, the prime minister said on Monday.

"As far as the date of lifting the state of emergency is concerned, it should be seen in the perspective that we have to consolidate the gains that we have made so far," Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told a news conference, noting that the measure had helped restore "normalcy".

Rights groups have said more than 500 people were killed in violence that was initially sparked by anger over a development scheme for the capital but which broadened into anti-government demonstrations.

The government said the measure would be in place for six months when it was first introduced.


(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Writing by Edmund Blair)

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