Public protests erupt in Hawassa by the Sidama people in southern Ethiopia
Tigrai Online, Feb. 22, 2019
Thousands of Sidama Ethiopians went to the streets to demand answers from the federal government in the city of Hawassa .
Thousands of Sidama Ethiopians went to the streets to demand answers from the federal government in the city of Hawassa in southern Ethiopia yesterday. The demonstrators were demanding against the federal government for ignoring or delaying their question to become a regional state. Currently the Sidama are part of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Regional state – SNNPRS, but they have been asking to get their own state by splitting from the SNNPRS.
Like many other Ethiopian people the Sidamas where oppressed and subjected to untold suffering for centuries in Ethiopia. They have been asking the federal government of Ethiopia to establish their own regional state, but the government was dragging its feet for many reasons.
Recently the Abiy Ahmed administration established a boundary and identity commission. The illegal commission is supposed to solve many of the boundary issues between almost all the Ethiopian states. The problem is there exists a federal entity which is set to resolve any issues regarding the federal states in Ethiopia and that federal organ is the House of Federation. All the regional states and people with statehood questions except Amhara state opposed the boundary and identity commission because its aim is not to solve the conflict between states, but to dismantle the federal system. The Sidama are afraid the new illegal commission might terminate their regional state before it is born. That is the main reason the Sidamas went out to the streets demonstrating and demanding respect to the Ethiopian constitution. The people of Sidama wanted a referendum on their question and they want it now.
The Sidama uprising is yet another blow to the limping Abiy Ahmed Ali’s administration. It is not only the Sidamas bitterly opposing the illegal boundary and identity commission, the Tigrai, Somali, Afar, Oromo people completely rejected it. The Tigrai state parliament last month condemned the establishment of the so called commission. A couple of days ago Oromo intellectuals aired their concern about the boundary and identity commission and indicated the people of Oromia would not compromise the existing federal system.
Abiy Ahmed has squandered all the hope and trust he had from the Ethiopian people when he came to power the first time. Now Abiy is hanging to power by a thin thread attached to the narrow and backward fake Amhara expansionists. This is one of the main reasons Dr. Abiy Ahmed is failing to connect to the majority of Ethiopians, because his attachment to the oppressors of the Ethiopian people by ideology and blood is stronger than any other connection he has to the rest of Ethiopia.