Ethiopia on Friday announced a national state of emergency barely a day after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn “unexpectedly” announced his intention to step down amid unrest and political crisis.
A statement by the state broadcaster said the move became imperative to stem a wave of anti-government protests as over hundreds of people have died in three years of unrest in the country.
The announcement did not say how long the rule would be in place.
The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations demanding the release of more opposition leaders.
Over 6,000 political prisoners have been freed since January as the government struggled to placate discontent.
On Thursday, Mr Hailemariam said he had made his decision to stand down in the hope that it would help end the years of unrest and political upheaval.
“Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” Hailemariam said in a televised address to the nation.
“… I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”