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Ethiopian prime minister resigns

Ethiopian prime minister resigns

According to the state Ethiopian News Agency, Desalegn resigned both as prime minister and chair of the ruling party "to be part of the efforts to provide a lasting solution to the current situation".

Earlier this week, men wielding sticks and stones blocked roads around the capital and the Oromia region, which has been at the centre of the protest movement, in a two-day strike to push for more prisoner releases.

Merera was released from jail in January, when the government began pardoning and dropping charges against hundreds of prisoners including many high-profile dissidents.

Guesses abound as to why he left when he did, but analysts say among the key drivers are the country's spiral into crisis, and the divisions within Hailemariam's party that have kept him from responding decisively. But protests and violence are continuing in pockets of Ethiopia.

But, he has struggled to rise politically above the shadow of Meles who was the nation's prime minister from 1995 to 2012.

It remains unclear if his successor will be sympathetic to the protesters' grievances, or return Ethiopia to the authoritarian governing style of Hailemariam's predecessor Meles Zenawi, who led the rebels that ousted dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

Facebook losing younger users at faster pace
But the proportion of social network users accessing Facebook will continue to decline over the forecast period, eMarketer said. American kids are ditching Facebook for other social media platforms, and 2018 might bring the largest online migration yet.

It gave no timeline for the emergency decree, the second since 2016, which was announced in a statement read by an anchor on the state broadcaster.

"The risk of catastrophic ethnic clashes is real", said longtime independent Ethiopia researcher Rene Lefort.

Hailemariam, a 52-year-old former university dean, will stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity until the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and parliament name a new premier.

Representing less than seven percent of the population, Tigrayan domination has been shaken by three years of crippling protests by the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups, who account for 60 percent of Ethiopia's 105 million people. But speculation among public is that OPDO, which rules Oromia, the most populous Ethiopian regional state, is angling to have its candidate take over the prime ministerial post. There have also been protests in other regions such as Amhara.

A staunch US ally in the fight against terrorism and the second-most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia is a regional powerhouse with grand economic ambitions.


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