ADDIS ABABA – THE National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) on Wednesday disclosed it has set Feb. 6 as a referendum voting date to create the East African country’s 12th region.
In a press statement, NEBE said registration of voters will commence on Dec. 20 and end on Jan. 3. The statement further said the final referendum vote tally announcement date has been set for Feb. 15.
In August, Ethiopia’s House of Federation, the upper house of parliament, approved a resolution to hold a referendum on the creation of the country’s 12th region.
In a press statement, the House of Federation said the resolution was approved after authorities in six zones and five districts that are currently under the Southern region filed a petition for the formation of a new region.
The House of Federation said the petition was received from Wolayita, Gamo, Gofa, South Omo, Gedeo and Konso zones as well as from Derashe, Amaro, Burji, Alle and Basketo special districts. Ethiopia currently has 11 regions.
Over the years, several ethnic groups in the country have been campaigning to create their own regions, occasionally sparking fears of political instability in the East African country.
– Xinhua News