At least 17 killed in Ethiopia during Sidama autonomy unrest Jul 21, 2019 0 1209 12345 ReutersADDIS ABABAAt least 17 people have been killed in clashes between Ethiopian security forces and activists seeking a new autonomous region for their Sidama ethnic group, according to a local official and hospital authorities.A local district official told Reuters on Saturday that at least 13 people were killed in a town near Hawassa city, 275 kms from the capital Addis Ababa, while hospital authorities said on Friday that four protesters had died of gunshot wounds in the city itself. Emboldened by political reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed since he took power in 2018, Sidama activists wanted to unilaterally declare a new regional state on Thursday. While the threat of large-scale violence in Hawassa was largely averted after a Sidama opposition party agreed to delay the declaration and accept a government offer to hold a referendum in five months, not all Sidama people accepted the delay.Ethiopia has nine ethnic-based regional states, which are overseen by the federal government in Addis Ababa but have autonomy over revenues and security forces. The Sidama threat to declare a new region posed a direct challenge to the authority of the federal government in the Horn of Africa country of 105 million people. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Thousands stage rally for police as HK faces more mass protests Jul 21, 2019 0 172 Iran says it seized tanker after collision, Britian calls move a ‘hostile act’ Jul 21, 2019 0 193 Iraq Kurds arrest two suspects in killing of Turkish vice consul Jul 21, 2019 0 182 Hong Kong actor Simon Yam stabbed on stage in China Reuters SHANGHAI An unknown assailant stabbed Hong Kong actor Simon Yam on Saturday during a promotional event in mainland China but Yam’s injuries were not life-threatening, Chinese state media reported. A video was .. Saudi Arabia to host US troops amid rising Iran tensions Reuters RIYADH Saudi Arabia’s King Salman approved hosting US forces in the country to boost regional security and stability, the state news agency SPA reported on Friday. The US Defense Department confirmed the move in .. Saudi-led alliance hits rebel targets in Sana’a dpa Sana’a Powerful explosions on Saturday rocked Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sana’a as a result of a string of airstrikes by the Saudi-led alliance. The bombing followed the start of a military operation by the .. Death toll rises to 15 after China gas plant blast AFP Beijing The death toll from a huge explosion that rocked a gas plant in central China has risen to 15, state media said Saturday. Friday’s blast at the Henan Coal Gas Group factory left another 15 people seriously ..