JOHANNESBURG – Ethiopia is facing a new political crisis with the Sidama people stating that they are on the brink of declaring a new state and breaking away from the rest of the country.
A deadline for the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy to respond to the request for a referendum on the matter expires on Thursday.
The city of Hawassa, in southern Ethiopia, is where Sidama activists plan the capital of their new federal state to be.
Currently the green, blue and red flag of the Sidama people is flying above government buildings in defiance of Addis Ababa, the East African reported.
However, there are fears that the unilateral declaration of independence could inflame the Horn of Africa’s already fragile political situation and lead to bloodshed as it touches on the sensitive issue of autonomy.