Ethiopia’s Sidama vote on autonomy in latest test for restive regions

Polls opened on Wednesday for Ethiopia’s Sidama people to vote on self-determination in a referendum closely watched by other ethnic…

Polls opened on Wednesday for Ethiopia’s Sidama people to vote on self-determination in a referendum closely watched by other ethnic groups also seeking more autonomy since reforms by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shook up the national power balance.

The special vote for the Sidama, mostly based in the south and comprising about 4% of Ethiopia’s 105 million people, comes ahead of a general election next year and has brought fears of renewed violence.

At least 17 people died in clashes in July between security forces and Sidama activists after the government delayed the poll by five months

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