Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Thursday he had submitted his resignation as both premier and the chairman of the ruling coalition.

The move comes amid a political crisis and lingering unrest in the Horn of Africa country, which has released thousands of prisoners to ease tensions.

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In January 3, 2018 Desalegn disclosed that Ethiopia would release and pardon prisoners jailed for political reasons.

This marked the first time that the government had to admit that there were people jailed for political reasons in the country.

The Prime Minister said the move was intended to “foster national reconciliation”.

“Politicians currently under prosecution and those previously sentenced will either have their cases annulled or be pardoned,” Hailemariam told domestic news outlets in the capital. He did not give further details.

The Horn of Africa country has been wracked by violence for almost three years, with protests first breaking out in its Oromiya province over allegations of land grabs.

Nearly 700 people died in one bout of unrest during months of protests in 2015 and 2016, according to a parliament-mandated investigation.