Ethiopia PM Hailemariam Desalegn in surprise resignation

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, has resigned, the country’s state TV reported.

No reason has yet been given for the decision. Mr Hailemariam also stepped down as chairman of the country’s ruling coalition.

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.

The BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza, in the capital Addis Ababa, says the government has released thousands of opposition supporters from jail in recent weeks, but still the protests continue

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.

BBC news