Sunday October 10, 2021
Credit: Addis Fortun
Jigjiga (HOL) - Following a referendum for autonomy on Sep 30, Ethiopian living in the country's south have voted to create Ethiopia's eleventh regional state.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has announced that nearly all of the 1.26 million people who voted in the referendum voted to create the Southwest region.
The region will be carved out of territory from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Regional State (SNNPR).
Wubshet Ayele, the vice-chair of the National Election Board of Ethiopia, said that 98% of people who voted in the five zones voted to create the new state. Ayele announced that just 34,000 voters were against the proposition.
The newly birthed regional state will comprise Kaffa, Sheka, Bench Sheko, Dawuro and West Omo Zones, and Konta Special district.
The newly formed South West State of Ethiopia will be the second state to be added to the region since Abiyi Ahmed became Ethiopia's prime minister.
The Sidama people voted for more regional autonomy in 2019, and their state was created in June 2020. Ethiopia's electoral board said that three more zonal councils are scheduling referendums to form new states.