Voting for Internal Secession: Federalism and ethnicity in Ethiopia
20 November 2019 might go down in history as one of the turning points for federalism in Ethiopia. It was the day on which the unparalleled clause of the Ethiopian Constitution, which provides ethnic communities with the right to establish their own state (i.e. subnational unit), was put into practice. Finally, after clamoring for their own state for years, the Sidama, the fifth largest ethnic group in the country, were allowed to have their day in a referendum. On the morning of that historic day, there were already long queues of excited voters. According to the results announced by the National Electoral Board, 98.5% voted for the creation of the Sidama state.