On 6 February, six zones and five special woredas2 in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR) held a referendum on statehood to determine whether the zones – Wolayta, Gamo, Gofa, South Omo, Gedeo and Konso – and special woredas – Derashe, Amaro, Burji, Basketo and Ale – will form a separate autonomous state or remain within the SNNPR. This was the third such…


For the past two months, disputes between political associations and the government of Puntland overshadowed the resumption of the local elections. Puntland has nine registered political associations that have competed during the recent early local elections. The rift between the two sides started in December 2021, when the date to hold the inauguration of the elected council was not met,…


Western Oromia makes up about a third of Ethiopia’s largest regional state, Oromia. The seven zones generally considered to be part of western Oromia – Kellem Wollega, East and West Wollega, Horru Guduru Wollega, Illubabor, Buno Bedelle and Jimma – border three of Ethiopia’s other regional states: Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella, as well as Upper Nile state in South Sudan. Since 2019,…


This briefing paper considers key issues in the relationship between religious groups, politics and the state in Ethiopia. It provides a brief historical overview; considers the contemporary situation with a focus on the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Islam, Protestantism and traditional religions; and examines inter-religious relations between the different groups.


According to the Puntland voter registration law (2021), to hold credible and transparent elections, voters must be registered to vote in a process managed by the Transitional Puntland Election Commission (TPEC). The registration process is one of the most challenging phases in the election process, as it often involves numerous technical and administrative tasks that require resources and…