Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned on Thursday after long-running political turmoil, an unprecedented move in the vast East African country.
The decision by Hailemariam, in power since 2012, comes after months of escalating anti-government protests and signs of growing splits within the country's ruling coalition.
Hailemariam said in state-television that he had worked hard to solve the problems in Ethiopia, but that he believed his resignation was also part of the solution, reports enca.com.
"My decision is to be part of the ongoing reform programmes," Hailemariam said, according to state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
"I believe my party and government will make history again by conducting (a) peaceful power transition," he added.
Hailemariam will remain in power until parliament and the full council of the ruling coalition party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), confirm his resignation. It remains unclear who will take over after that.
The streets of the capital Addis Ababa were calm following the surprise announcement.