Businesses are partly shutdown in Hawassa, Ethiopia after a group of Sidama youth called “Ejeto” called for a strike for three days in protesting the processing delay of Sidama’s request for statehood.
The group made its call through social media outlets. Following the call banks, schools, and business centers remain partially shut down. Workers of Hawassa industry zone also forced to leave their workspace. The strike also affected classes that resulted in the cancellation following fliers that were distributed last night inside the compound of Hawassa University.
A few weeks back demonstrations were held in Hawassa and last week group of young people interrupted a meeting of high government officials of the South People Democratic Movement (SPDM), and the meeting was had to be postponed.
Sidama people have been requesting for a regional status for almost two decades. The most organized resistance movement was staged under the leadership of the late Wolde Amanuel Dubale who at the height of the resistance had tens of thousands of soldiers who were operating from Somalia under the umbrella of Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM). It raised again with the powerful movement since the arrival of Prime Minister Abiy, and Weredas approved the referendum.
A similar process occurred in 2006, but a referendum was not held. Around 100 people may have been killed by security forces in 2002 when Sidama protested over their administrative rights.