Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister of Ethiopia, has resigned amid deadly anti-government protests.
Desalagen, who has led the country since 2012, also stepped down as chairman of the ruling coalition.
His departure follows a national state of emergency that ended last year.
In a televised address, Desalagen he will stay on as a caretaker prime minister until Ethiopia’s parliament and ruling coalition accept his resignation and choose a replacement.
“Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” Hailemariam said in a televised address on Thursday.
“I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”
Hundreds of people have died in a wave of violence across Ethiopia, initially sparked by an urban development plan in the capital, Addis Ababa, in 2015.
The unrest spread as demonstrations against political restrictions and human rights abuses broke out.
An academic-turned-politician, Desalagen has led Ethiopia since 2012, after the death of former leader Meles Zenawi.
He served as deputy prime minister and foreign minister under the former leader, before assuming power, and he was also elected chairman of the African Union in 2013.
The government has long been accused of arresting critical journalists and opposition leaders.
Human rights organisations and opposition groups have called for their release, saying they were arrested on trumped-up charges and punished for their points of view.
In January, Desalagen announced that his government would release detainees and so far 7,000 people either saw their charges dropped or were pardoned.