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Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desaleg resigns

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desaleg resigns

Twenty four-hours after the abrupt resignation of Prime Minister, Hailemariam, wild protests by Ethiopia's Oromo and Amhara people - who make up about 61 percent of the country's population have forced authorities in the country to declare a state of emergency.

However, Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo rights activist and head of the Oromia Media Network, said the state of emergency declaration was "unnecessary, unhelpful and unwise".

A state of emergency installed after the resignation of Ethiopia's prime minister Thursday will continue for the next six months, a high-ranking official said Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Hailemariam had announced the prisoner release last month amid growing disenchantment with his government.

The move, he said, sought to "improve the national consensus and widen the democratic platform".

But anti-government sentiment remained in the two regions and the analysts believe Hailemariam's response to the protests eventually led to his surprise resignation, a first in modern Ethiopia.

While the decree is already in effect, parliamentary approval for the requested six-month period appears likely as the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies control all the seats in the House of Peoples' Representatives.

Protesters had blocked roads leading out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, with rocks and burning tyres, disrupting public transportation in the city.

The Prime Minister said he is stepping down "to be part of the solution and for the success of the reforms and the solutions we have put in place".

Hailemariam oversaw a smooth handover on the death of former Marxist rebel Meles Zenawi, turning the relatively little-known politician and technocrat to an influential leader.

Since January, Ethiopia has released more than 6,000 prisoners who had been charged with taking part in mass protests and, in some cases, offences against the state. "So the change of an individual is really the homework for the EPRDF, not the people of Ethiopia". The board included it would discharge more points of interest on Saturday.

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