ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia's House of Federation has approved a resolution to hold a referendum on the creation of the East African country's 12th region. In a statement, the upper house of Parliament/Federation said the resolution was approved after authorities in 6 zones and 5 districts that are presently under the Southern region filed a petition for the formation of a new region.
The upper House Parliament said the petition was received from Wolayita, Gamo, Gofa, South Omo, Gedeo and Konso zones and also from Derashe, Amaro, Burji, Alle and Basketo special districts. "The resolution aims to help carry on the democratic development, boost multicultural unity, make certain sustainable peace and build a healthy federal government system," the House of Federation statement said.
The referendum is expected to be organised by Ethiopia's National Electoral Board in the upcoming months. In a local referendum held last year, nearly 97% of participants backed the idea to establish the South-West area as Ethiopia's eleventh region.
Five zones and one special locality, all of which were formerly situated in Ethiopia's Southern region, participated in the referendum vote to establish a new regional state.
Currently, Ethiopia has 11 regions. Several ethnic groups in the nation have waged long-running campaigns to establish their own areas, occasionally raising concerns about political instability in the nation of East Africa.