Ethiopia: Election board publicizes action plan on Sidama referendum

(Ethio Newsroom) The election board of Ethiopia publicized the action plan on the upcoming referendum on the controversial Sidama region. The ninety days of action plan which the board shared on its social media plat form details the process and the stakeholders in the referendum.

Ethiopia’s nine existing regional states enjoy a degree of autonomy under which they are able to choose their official language and have limited powers over taxation, education, health and land administration.

Buoyed by political reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he took power in 2018, political activists from the Sidama – currently subsumed into one of the nine states – wanted to unilaterally declare a new regional state in July.

The same month, at least 17 people were killed in clashes between security forces and pro-autonomy activists, while other Sidama leaders accepted an offer from the government to hold a referendum within five months.

Ethiopia’s electoral board said the referendum, on Nov. 13, would address “ethnic Sidama’s demand for regional statehood,” state-affiliated Fana said on its website. At least eight further ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa country of 105 million people are also seeking autonomy.

Find the attached action plan of the election board on the Sidama referrendum here.

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