By Tego Wolasa
On November 20, 2019, the Sidama ethnic group officially got its own semi-autonomous region.
Having their own region means that they will have powers to raise tax and exercise control over schools, police, and health month other services.
After years of demand to leave the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR), they were allowed to hold a referendum on November 23, 2019.
99.8% of the registered voters or 2,277,063 out of the registered 2,280,147 voters were in favor of the Sidama regional state.
The decision had, however, not been effected until today when Speaker of the Council of SNNPRS Helen Debebe handed over to the Speaker of the Council of Sidama zone, Solomon Lale.
Several other groups in SNNPR have already launched plans for self-determination similar to that of the Sidama people.
It is, for instance, reported that 38 members of Wolayta zone representatives of the Council boycotted an emergency meeting called to arrange for the handover of power.
They were protesting the proposed reorganization of the Southern region into four regional states.
Wolayta zone representatives said the move didn’t consider their request for separate statehood.
What next for Burji and 54 other tribes in the SNNPR?