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Ethiopia set to establish 11th regional state following referendum

Voters in southwestern Ethiopia cast their ballots in favor of breaking away into a separate regional state within the Horn of African country in an referendum last month, authorities announced on Saturday.

Following the result of the vote, released by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, lawmakers in parliament’s upper chamber, the House of the Federation, will decide if the country’s 11th regional state will be carved out of the Southern Ethiopia Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regional state.

The referendum had been conducted in the Dawro special district, as well as the Bench Sheka, South Omo, Kafa, and Sheko zones, with the election board saying it woud submit the result to the House of the Federation for a final decision on the status of the region.

A year ago, the Sidama people voted in favor of a separate regional state government and have since become the 10th regional state in the country.

In the most recent referendum held on Sept. 30, 1.2 million voters voted in favor of a separate State while 34,000 voters against.

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