News: Gurage zone’s lingering request for statehood causes another stay-at-home protest in zonal capital

Pictures from yesterday’s protest in Wolkite city. Photos: Social Media

Addis Abeba – Residents in Wolkite city, the capital city of the Gurage zone in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) regional state, have staged yest another protests by boycotting routine activities in the city and its environs which included suspending civil service works and business activities.

Similar protests of boycott was held by residents of Wolkite on 09 August, shortly after the submission on 04 August by the SNNP regional state Council to the House of Federation (HoF) a cluster of ten zones and six woredas in the SNNP region to be restructured in two additional regional states out of the existing SNNP region. It followed after the respective Councils of zones and Special Woredas approved the request over the weekend of 31 July.

However, the Gurage Zone Council had from the get go opposed to the restructuring as it was seeking its regional state status, which it tabled as far back as November 2018.

According to various reports on local media, yesterday’s protest of boycott is a continuation of the zone’s rejection the federal government cluster restructuring arrangement which would see a new regional state emerging out of the SNNP region.

Residents of the city told DW Amharic over the phone that yesterday’s strike was peaceful, except for a minor scuffle between security forces and some youth who were burning tires in some parts of the city. Residents said that all government and commercial organizations in the city were closed with the exception of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

Gurage zone’s continued rejection of the new restructuring has seen Zonal and bureau officials who favor the zone’s position detained in the last few months.

In late August, Addis Standard reported the detention of the Zonal Finance Bureau official Minewer Hayatu, Governmental Communications Affairs official, Mebrate Woldemariam, Abebe Amerga, Zonal Enterprise and Industry Development Bureau official,  and Ajemel, Vice-Dean of Welkite Polytechnic College. AS 

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