Ethiopian city ‘now calm after shots heard in the morning’

By Kalkidan Yibeltal |BBC Amharic|

The situation in the southern Ethiopian city of Hawassa is now calmer after residents told the BBC that shots had been fired there in the morning.

 Ethiopian city of Hawassa Security forces are now patrolling the streets, witnesses have told the BBC.

There had been tension over whether some activists were going to declare a new regional state for Sidama people. Sidama is currently incorporated into the multi-ethnic federal state called the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.

Earlier this week, activists said they would declare the new state on Thursday – a year to the day after the idea of a referendum on the issue was approved by the authorities.

The referendum, which should have been held within 12 months, has been delayed, but the electoral board said it would happen in the next five months.

That appeared to placate most Sidama activists, including political parties backing the referendum. BBC News