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Sidama statehood referendum will drive localised protests and small-arms violence, encourage other Ethiopian self-determination movements

05 November 2018
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The State Council of Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) on 2 November accepted a request by its Sidama zone administration to form its own regional state, setting in motion a referendum to be held on this question by August 2019 (the first such referendum under Ethiopia's current constitution).

The council also created new zones in Konso and Alaba (out of portions of the Segen Area Peoples' and Kembata Tembaro zones, respectively) and dividing Gamo-Gofa zone in two. Sidama zone is a significant coffee-producing area.

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