Over 2.3mln Voters Registered for Sidama Referendum

ADDIS ABEBA – Over 2.3 million people have registered to vote in the Sidama referendum which will be held on Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Monday, the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) said the registration has been carried out peacefully.

More than 6,000 election officials are deployed in 1,692 polling stations established across the Sidama zone.

Government offices, schools, and commercial institutions operating in Sidama Zone will be closed on the referendum day.

The decision was made based on the 2012 electoral and political parties’ proclamation, said the board, adding institutions operating in Sidama zone and town administration should respect the decision and discharge responsibility accordingly.

The Sidama push for statehood already triggered days of unrest in July that left dozens dead and prompted the government to place Ethiopia’s southern region under the control of soldiers and federal police.