Addis Ababa—An executive committee member of the Silte People’s Democratic Union Party (SPDUP), an ethnic based party in Ethiopia, said that a first ever referendum will be held in Ethiopia by the middle of March 2001 for the determination of the Silte ethnic group’s identity.
On the occasion of the party’s 8th founding anniversary observed
among party members and supporters at the small stadium in Addis Ababa
yesterday, Ato Muhaba Hussien told journalists that the life-long
struggle of Silte people for national recognition shall achieve its
1st destiny in the
coming referendum to be held throughout
We are hoping to gap the differences on the
technicalities of the referendum between the regional state and our
proposal. We are stressing a clean referendum at this point carried
out by independent organs, said Muhaba.
The referendum shall be
of a specific kind.
Silte nationals have to determine whether they are Guraghe, Haida, or
Silte. We have no doubt on the outcome of the referendum Silte has
always been Silte. Even though a conference called at Butagera
town, southern Ethiopia, by the regional state in August 1997
concluded there was no such ethnic group called Silte but Guraghe, the
Federation house decided on its April 4th 2000 session for a
referendum by Silte nationals within a year’s time to determine
whether they are Silte or otherwise Silte nationals residing mainly in
the 3 zones of the Southern Regional State are estimated to number
between 1.2 and 1.5 million. The date of the referendum has not been