Ethiopia's Sidama people have voted in favor of autonomous rule by a huge margin. The result may inspire other groups to push for autonomy in Africa's second-most populous nation.
Residents of Ethiopia's Sidama zone voted in favor of a new federal region, with about 98.5% choosing autonomous rule, the country's electoral board said on Saturday. Voter turnout was 99.8%.
The official preliminary results of a referendum held on Wednesday were released by the deputy head of the National Electoral Board, Wubshet Ayele, in the regional capital, Hawassa, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of Addis Ababa. - "The November 20 polls was peaceful and didn't have major logistical challenges, although in some places there were larger than projected queues of voters," Ayele said. - By creating their own federal region, the Sidama — Ethiopia's fifth most numerous ethnicity — hope to regain control of land resources, political representation as well as to reaffirm their cultural identity. - Long road to independence
Ethiopia's Sidama zone, home to about 4 million residents, is part of the country's Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region (SNNPR), home to over 40 ethnic groups.
For decades, the Sidama have been longing to break free from the SNNPR and gain regional independence, a right enshrined in the constitution. But years of autocratic rule had failed to fulfill this provision. - Rapid change
Saturday's result paves the way for the Sidama region to become Ethiopia's 10th state, but it also could act as inspiration for other ethnic groups keen to carve out their own region. - Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the move was an "expression of the democratization path Ethiopia has set out on." - Ethiopia, once one of Africa's most repressive nations, has been undergoing rapid changes since Abiy was appointed last year, promising to forge a more open society.
Last month, Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize for his political reforms and for making peace with Eritrea.
Nigerian media won't tell you that Ethiopians recently held a Referendum to create a New State for her Sidama minority ethnic group.
While you people are still watching Babcock video, and looking for who fix eyelashes to school. And if they tell you it'll open your mind to the fact that referendum isn't a form of communicable disease, but a pure democratic process through which people decide what happens in their society.
Ethiopia is partitioned into nine semi-autonomous regional states -- with the Sidama voting for a potential tenth.
Here in Nigeria One idiot will be on Channels TV telling you people that Referendum equals to war as if Nigeria is the only country where the word Referendum has ever been mentioned. Umu Enwe will lap on it and start insulting IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu as if Referendum is a type of Epidemic That IPOB wants to spread.
The media in this zoo or jungle is the reason why many people reason with their brain upside-down. They don't tell people the truth.