News coming in indicates that Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, has resigned. National broadcaster states the PM submitted his resignation today (Thursday).
Desalegn, who served as Ethiopia’s prime minister and Chairman of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition since 2012, submitted a resignation letter to his ruling Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front party during an emergency meeting . It is unclear if the party has or will accept his request.
His departure comes amid months of anti-government protests in Ethiopia’s largest regions, Oromia and Amhara.
In the latest violence, 10 people were killed and dozens more injured following an opposition protest.
Sources in the capital Addis Ababa say the government has released thousands of opposition supporters from jail in recent weeks, but still the protests continued.
Ethiopia has witnessed repeated violent demonstrations since 2015, with protesters calling for political and economic reform, and an end to state corruption.
The ongoing disturbances have led to deep divisions in the governing coalition, says Mary Harper, Africa Editor for the BBC World Service.
Some of Ethiopia’s powerful elites have come to see the prime minister as weak and lacking in direction, she says.
A weak and turbulent Ethiopia is risky for the entire Horn of Africa, our correspondent adds, as this normally stable state is seen as key to holding the region together.
More details to follow