The Haud is of indeterminate extent; some authorities consider it denotes the part of Ethiopia east of the city of Harar. I.M. Lewis provides a much more detailed description, indicating that it reaches south from the foothills of the Golia and Ogo Mountains. "The northern and eastern tips lie within the Somali Republic, while the western and southern portions (the later merging with the Ogaden plateau) form part of the Harari Province of Ethiopia." For decades following the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1941 it (as well as the entire Ogaden) has been an area of conflict and controversy.
The British exerted control of the Ogaden beginning in 1941 as part of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement, administering the Haud as part of their adjacent colony of British Somaliland, although Ethiopian sovereignty was still recognized in the area. This region was defined in the 1942 agreement as including the Ethiopian territory within a continuous belt of Ethiopian territory 25 miles [40 km] wide contiguous to the frontier of French Somaliland running from the frontier of Eritrea to the Franco-Ethiopian Railway. Thence south-west along the railway to the bridge at Haraua. Thence south and south-east, excluding Gildessa, to the north-eastern extremity of the Garais Mountains and along the crest of the ridge of these mountains to their intersection with the frontier of the former Italian colony of Somalia. Thence along the frontier to its junction with British Somaliland.