Result of Study on South Ethiopia regional state administrative arrangement tend to see the formation of new regional states as last preference by people in the region
July 24, 2019
The leadership of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region and the party governing the region, SEPDM, have been saying that a group of experts are tasked to study problems related to administrative arrangements in the region.
The result is released in a press conference organized by the research team on Wednesday.
The study that was underway for the past seven months is released on Wednesday, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
Members of the research team, twenty in number, are drawn from academic areas of anthropology, history, public administration, political science – among others.
The researchers gathered data from all zones, except one which is not disclosed, and 17 thousand people were involved in the study.
One of the issues that the researchers looked at, according to FBC report, is if the 1995 federal arrangement that created Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region was arbitrarily created or there was public participation. And the research team determined that the region was not created arbitrarily and there was public participation.
Intellectuals and elites from the region also agreed for the formation of the regional state, added the statement from the researchers as reported by FBC.
FBC cited the team as saying that Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region is an exemplary case of diversity and living together.
The team also noted that currently there is extensive demand for regional state formation in the region.
However, the result of the study suggests the majority of people in the region prefer a continuation of the existing administrative arrangement for the region.
Breaking the region into two or more administrative units is suggested as the second alternative but it is unclear on what basis the alternative could be implemented if was to be accepted.
The formation of new regional states in the region is another alternative which needs to be given more time, according to the study. Political expediency aside, it remains a question as to whether it is possible to convince those who are pushing for the ethnic-based state in the region to see to wait further.
Sidama ethno-nationalists clashed with government forces last week when they unilaterally declared Sidama as a federal state since July 18, 2019. In no time, what appeared like a political movement degenerated to what rather looks like ethnic cleansing as the radicalized youth launched attacks on non-Sidama ethnic groups in the region.
Over 60 civilians are reportedly killed and dozens wounded, not to mention the destruction of private properties.
Currently, the region is under a state of emergency. The Ethiopian military took over the task of maintaining security in the region since Monday.
Towards the end of 2018, Abiy Ahmed’s administration has established the Identity and Boundary Commission, and Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with disputes regarding identity and boundary across the country.
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