Mali's prime minister abruptly resigned Tuesday, announcing on state television that his entire cabinet was also stepping down.
Cheick Modibo Diarra did not offer a reason for his decision, except for a vague statement that he solemnly delivered.
"Our country Mali is going through the most difficult period in its history," he said. "During this time of crisis, the men and women of this country - uncertain of what is going to happen to their country - find themselves in an unfortunate situation.
"That's why I, Sheikh Modibo Diarra, have resigned with all my government, on this day, Tuesday, 11 of December of 2012. I apologize to all of the Malian people who are suffering from this crisis in every way and at all levels. I thank all the members of the government as well as their contributors for their efforts on the economic front. I wish the next government best of luck."
The development is another blow to the stability of a country once hailed as a model of democracy in Africa, but one derailed by a coup and an uprising of Islamist militants.
Read more: What's behind the instability in Mali?FULL STORY