Ethiopia's next leader faces tough challenge of reuniting the nation

Awol K. Allo is a lecturer at the Keele University School of Law. He writes on the issues behind the longstanding protests by Ethiopia's largest ethnic groups, the Oromos and Amharas.
He writes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits the country on his Africa tour.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Ethiopia is facing an upheaval of unprecedented magnitude. On February 15, the country's Prime Minister Hailemariam stepped down in a surprise move that plunged the country into uncertainty.

A day later, his government declared a nationwide state of emergency, the second such decree in less than two years.
Confronted by relentless and large scale ethnic protests, Hailemariam's government was forced to make highly unusual concessions.
    Early in January, the government announced a plan to widen the political space and foster national consensus, including the decision to release political prisoners.