Ethiopia Leader Urges Calm Ahead of Key Referendum

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Ethiopia Leader Urges Calm Ahead of Key Referendum

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has called for calm as millions of Ethiopians hold a referendum on whether to create a new regional state along ethnic lines.

Prime Minister Abiy on Wednesday said that the Sidama referendum is an expression of Ethiopia’s new democratic path.

Abiy’s sweeping political reforms since he took office last year have opened the way for some of the country’s more than 80 ethnic groups to push for more autonomy.

Sometimes deadly unrest has followed, and tensions could rise ahead of national elections in May.

According to international and local observers, this tension, unrest and security challenges pose a great challenge for Prime Minister Abiy.

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