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Security forces are cracking down on black market foreign currency exchange shops in the capital Addis Ababa and in major towns in the country as regime faces serious foreign currency crunch.

Security forces are also going house to house and searching the illegal exchange outlets seizing undisclosed amount of foreign currency.

Residents say the search and confiscations were being carried out under the guise of the state of emergency, which does not give the power to security forces as regards to seizing black market foreign currencies. They said security forces were also targeting remittances sent from abroad by family members.

Security forces in plain clothe are also arresting people suspected of engaging in illegal foreign currency exchange transactions.

The National Bank of Ethiopia had issued a directive three years ago  outlawing black market foreign currency exchanges following the depletion of the country’s foreign currency reserve.

The World Bank and other monetary institutions have been advising the Ethiopian government to reform its policies to curb the currency crises.

Ethiopia has been hit by foreign currency crises for the last three years and the shortage has gotten worse in the last one year as anti government protests bear a negative impact on the country’s foreign trade.

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