October 30 , 2021
During its first extraordinary assembly held on October 30, 2021, the upper house of parliament approved the formation of the country's 11th regional state following a referendum vote last month. The referendum was held in Bench Sheka, South Omo, Kafa, and Sheko zones as well as Dawro Special District in the Southern Regional State. Nearly 94pc of the 1.3 million voters registered in the areas showed up to cast their ballots. The South West Regional State is the second to split from the Southern Regional State, following in the footsteps of Sidama, which gained autonomy following a referendum in 2019.
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