Last Update 10:16
Thursday, 14 November 2019

Ethiopia postpones autonomy referendum for ethnic Sidama: Fana news agency

Ethiopia has already nine regional states and it would be the 10th autonomous region

Reuters , Tuesday 15 Oct 2019
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1178
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1178

Ethiopia postponed by a week a referendum on self-determination for its ethnic Sidama community that would have created the country's 10th autonomous region, Fana news agency reported on Tuesday.

The new date for the vote is Nov. 20 instead of Nov. 13, the delay caused by referendum preparations lagging behind, Fana cited an electoral board statement as saying.

Ethiopia's nine regional states enjoy a level of autonomy where they are able to choose their official language and have limited powers over taxation, education, health and land administration.

Emboldened by reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he came to office 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.

At least 17 people were killed that same month in clashes between security forces and Sidama activists, while some leaders accepted an offer from the government for a referendum within five months.

In August, the electoral board said it would deploy close to 1,700 polling stations and 8,500 election officials for the referendum.

At least eight other ethnic groups in Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people, are also seeking autonomy.

Abiy, 43, appointed by the ruling coalition in April 2018, has won praise for political reforms in what was once one of the continent's most repressive nations.

He won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts, which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

But with many activists using the greater freedoms to demand more rights, tensions between rival interests have sometimes led to violence.

Search Keywords:
Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.