Sidama is the largest ethnic group in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). As the constitution of Ethiopia states, ethnic groups are constitutionally entitled to a vote on forming a new state if its governing council requests one. The Sidama zone began the process and reached the decision to push for a Sidama state on July 18, 2018, after 19 woredas and 2 city administrations in the zone voted. However, the Ethiopian government has not yet organized the mandated referendum as the government is facing challenges of safety and security all over the country. Following the zero response from the government after the Sidama organized a peaceful demonstration, the political parties have officially announced to form unilaterally declare the formation of a new regional state within Ethiopia’s federation on 18 July 2019.
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