Somali Region ( ); is the
eastern-most of the nine ethnic
divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia.
often called Somalia, though it is not to be
confused with the independent
country of the same name.
as Western Somali and Ogadenia, the capital of
Somali State is Jijiga.
capital had been at Gode/Godey until
April 1994, but due to political considerations it was moved.)
Other major towns and cities include (the Somali spelling in
brackets): Degehabur (Dhagaxbuur), Kebri Dahar (Qabridahare), Shilavo (Shilaabo),
Geladin (Geladi), Kelafo (Qalaafe),
Werder (Wardheer) and Shinile
(Shiniile). The region borders Kenya to the
south-west, the Ethopian regions of Oromia, Afar and Dire
Dawa (Diridhawa) to the west, Djibouti to the north and Somalia to the
north, east and south.
covers much of the traditional territory of Ogaden and it
formed a large part of the pre-1995 province of Hararghe.
The region has a very high
population, and there is
internal pressure to remove Ethiopian rule. There have been
attempts to incorporate the area into a Greater Somalia
. In the 1970s, Somalia
invaded Ethiopia in support of a local guerrilla movement,
particularly during the Ogaden War
April 2005, heavy rains generated widespread flooding throughout
Somali Region as well as Somalia, and caused the Shebelle River to burst its bank.
As of May 2005, the flooding
in Somali Region alone had caused over 100
confirmed deaths and widespread property damage affecting over
100,000 persons. The floods also destroyed shelters housing
25,000 Somali refugees in Kenya near Dorooro
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical
of Ethiopia (CSA), the Somali Region has a total
population of 4,439,147, consisting of 2,468,784 men and 1,970,363
women; urban inhabitants number 621,210 or 14% of the population.
With an estimated area of 279,252 square kilometers, this region
has an estimated density of 15.9 people per square kilometer. For
the entire region 665,397 households were counted, which results in
an average for the Region of 6.6 persons to a household, with urban
households having on average 6.3 and rural households 6.7 people.
Ethnic groups include Somalis
(0.66%), foreign-born Somalis (0.20%)
and Gurages (0.12%). 98.4% of the population is Muslim
, 0.6% Orthodox Christian
, and 1.0%
are followers of all other religions.
In the previous census, conducted September 1997, the region's
population was reported to be 3,439,860, of which 1,875,996 were
males and 1,563,864 were females. The urban residents of the Somali
Region numbered 492,710 households, with an average of 6.6 persons
per household; a high sex ratio of 120 males to 100 females was
The ethnic groups included Somalis (96.23%), Oromo (2.25%), Amhara
(0.69%), and Gurages (0.14%). Somali was the working language and
is predominantly spoken within the Region, spoken by 95.9% of the
inhabitants. Other major languages included Oromifa
(0.92%), and Gurage (0.033%). 98.7%
of the population were Muslim, 0.9% Orthodox Christian, and 0.3%
are followers of other religions.
According to the CSA, , 38.98% of the total population had access
to safe drinking
, of whom 21.32% were rural inhabitants and 77.21% were
urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living
for Somali include the
following: 71.8% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth
quintile; adult literacy for men is 22% and for women 9.8%; and the
Regional infant mortality rate
is 57 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is less than the
nationwide average of 77; at least half of these deaths occurred in
the infants’ first month of life.
The CSA of Ethiopia estimated in 2005 that farmers in Somalia had a
total of 459,720 cattle (representing 1.19%% of Ethiopia's total
cattle), 463,000 sheep (2.66%), 650,970 goats (5.02%), 91,550 asses
(3.66%), 165,260 camels (36.2%), 154,670 poultry of all species
(0.5%), and 5,330 beehives (0.12%). For nomadic inhabitants, the
CSA provided two sets of estimates, one based on aerial surveys and
the other on more conventional methodology:
(conducted 5-23 Nov.
(conducted 11 Dec.
Presidents of the Executive Committee
(This list is based on information from Worldstatesmen.org
- "April 1994 Monthly Situation Report" United
Nations Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (accessed 29 May 2008)
- "Census 2007", first draft, Tables 1, 4, 5,
- The 1994 National Census was delayed in the Somali Region until
1997. Unfortunately, the Census did not cover all parts of the
Region, namely rural kebeles in the following Zones: Shinile, Fiq, Gode,
and Afder. The 1994 Population and Housing Census of
Ethiopia: Results for Somali Region, vol.1, Chapter 2
"Population size and characteristics"
- FDRE States: Basic Information - Somalia,
Population (accessed 12 March 2006)
- "Households by sources of drinking water, safe
water sources" CSA Selected Basic Welfare Indicators (accessed
28 January 2009)
- Macro International Inc. "2008.
Ethiopia Atlas of Key Demographic and Health Indicators, 2005."
(Calverton: Macro International, 2008), pp. 2, 3, 10 (accessed
28 January 2009)
- "CSA 2005 National Statistics", Tables D.4 -
- Tobias Hagmann and Mohamud H. Khalif, "State and politics in
Ethiopia's Somali Region since 1991", Bildhaan: An
International Journal of Somali Studies, 6 (2006).
- Tobias Hagmann, "Beyond clannishness and colonialism:
understanding political disorder in Ethiopia's Somali Region, 1991-
2004", Journal of Modern African Studies, 43 (2005),