Ethiopia has been following an ethnic based federal government structure. Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNPPR) was the only region with a multi-ethnic character. However, the zones within the region tend to have an ethnic based administrative character.
Sidama zone, which was part of the SNNPR, won a referendum last year to be a state on its own in what seems to be a pursuit of an ethnic based regional state.
The development fueled a movement from several zones in the region to end their relationship with SNNPR and be a state on their own.
Ironically, there was also a different form of statehood demand in several zones of the SNNPR. Five zones, with diverse ethnicities, and one special district stood together to demand for a single statehood which is to be named as South West Ethiopia region. Konta district, West Omo zone, Dawuro Zone, Kaffa Zone and Sheka zone.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) had to organize a referendum, administered last week, the result of which was a yes to a single multi-ethnic regional state.
In a statement released on social media, on Monday, NEBE announced the result and confirmed the “yes” vote. Over 1.2 million people in the zone voted in favor of a single, multi-ethnic regional state.
The new region seems to have higher population compared to Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia.
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