May 19, 2019
Wolayta staged a huge demonstration on Friday demanding statehood. Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Wolyata marched the streets of Wolayta Sodo before they settled in Wolayta Stadium where powerful speakers, and organizers, articulated the motive of the demonstration.
“Respond to Wolayta People’s demand for statehood,” “Justice to Wolayta people,”Wolayta People support the ‘change’ and stand with government” are some of the slogans that protestors were chanting.
They also demanded equitable distribution of economic development projects including construction of Industrial Parks and industries.
The protestors also demanded government act to stop what they called attacks on ethnic Wolayta and respect freedom of movement and right to work in any parts of Ethiopia.
The Zone administration seem to be supportive of the demands raised by the protestors. Tadele Folla, government communication bureau coordinator in the zone, is cited by Fana Broadcasting Corporate as saying that the demands need to be addressed.
Wolayta zone is currently part of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region, a region with more than fifty language speaking groups in Ethiopia’s ethnic based Federal structure.
It is to be recalled that ethnic Sidama, also within Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region, demanded status for statehood. At least two other language speaking groups in the region are demanding ethnic based statehood status.
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