The Somali Regional State ( so, Dawlad Deegaanka Soomaalida, am, የሶማሌ ክልል, ar, المنطقة الصومالية), also known as Soomaali Galbeed (''Somali West'') is the largest and easternmost of the ten regions (''Kililoj'') of
Ethiopia Ethiopia (; am, ኢትዮጵያ, , aa, Itiyoophiyaa, gez, ኢትዮጵያ, om , Itoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti , ኢትዮጵያ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. ...

. The regional state borders the Ethiopian states of Afar and Oromia and the chartered city Dire Dawa (Dire Dhawa) to the west, as well as Djibouti and Somaliland to the north and northeast,
Somalia Somalia,; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of Somalia, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the west, Djibouti to the Northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the north, the Indian Oce ...
to the east and south; and
Kenya Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya ( sw, Jamhuri ya Kenya), is a country in Eastern Africa. At , Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 47.6 million people in the 2019 census, Kenya is the ...
to the southwest.
is the capital of the Somali Regional State. The capital was formerly Gode, until Jijiga became the capital in 1995 on account of political considerations. The Somali regional government is composed of the executive branch, led by the President; the legislative branch, which comprises the State Council; and the judicial branch, which is led by the State Supreme Court.


The Somali Region formed a large part of the pre-1995 province of Hararghe. The population is predominantly Somali, and there have been attempts to incorporate the area into a Greater Somalia. In the 1970s, Somalia, supported by the United States, invaded Ethiopia, igniting the Ogaden War, which Somalia lost due to timely military intervention from the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a Federalism, federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a Political union, union of multiple national Republics of t ...
and its ally
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor Archipelago, archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbe ...
. Despite this defeat, local groups still tried either to become part of Somalia or independent. The 2007 Abole oil field raid, in which 72 Chinese and Ethiopian oilfield workers were killed, has led to a 2007–2008 Ethiopian crackdown in Ogaden, series of military reprisals against the rebel group ONLF Ogaden National Liberation Front. Until its first-ever district elections in February 2004, Zonal and woreda administrators and village chairmen were appointed by the Regional government. Senior politicians at the Regional level nominated their clients to the local government positions. In the 2004 local elections, each woreda elected a council including a spokesman, vice-spokesman, administrator, and vice-administrator. These councils have the responsibility of managing budgets and development activities within their respective districts.


Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency (Ethiopia), Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), the Somali Region has a total population of 7,445,219, consisting of 3,472,490 men and 3,972,729 women; urban inhabitants number 1,489,044 or 20% of the population, a further 5,956,175 or 80% were pastoralists and farmers. With an estimated area of 327,068 square kilometers, this region has an estimated density of 20.9 people per square kilometer. For the entire region 1, 685,986 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 6.8 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 6 and rural households 6.5 people. Ethnic groups include Somali people, Somalis (99.2%), Amhara people, Amhara (0.06%), Oromo people, Oromo (0.46%), foreign-born Somalis (0.20%) and Gurages (0.08%). The population was projected to be 11,748,998 in 2017. There are 8 refugee camps and 1 transit center, housing 212,967 refugees from Somalia, located in Somali Region. In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the region's population was reported to be 5,439,860, of which 2,875,996 were males and 2,563,864 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 reported. 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 Oromo language, Oromo (2.24%), Amharic language, Amharic (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 Water supply and sanitation in Ethiopia, safe drinking water, 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.


Somali language, Somali was spoken by 99.92% of the inhabitants. Other minority languages included Oromo language, Oromo (0.7%), and Amharic language, Amharic (0.1%).


Sunni Islam in Ethiopia, Islam accounts for 99.4% of the population, 0.50% Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, Orthodox Christian, and 0.10% are followers of all other religions.


The CSA of Ethiopia estimated in 2005 that farmers in the Somali Region had a total of 1, 459,720 cattle (representing 10.19%% of Ethiopia's total cattle), 1,463,000 sheep (20.66%), 1,650,970 goats (50.02%), 1,291,550 donkey (30.66%), 5,3165,260 camels (96.2%), 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:


Ground travel

West from Addis Ababa, Awash, Ethiopia, Awash 572 km via Harar and to Degehabur

Air travel

Somali Regional State has 3 international airport and 2 commercial airports. The international airports are Jijiga Airport, Gode Airport, and Kabri Dar Airport, The 2 commercial airports are Dolo Airport, and Shilavo Airport.


Executive branch

The executive branch is headed by the President of Somali Regional State. The current List of Presidents of the Somali Region, Ethiopia, President is Mustafa Muhummed Omer, Mustafa Muhummed Omer (Cagjar), elected in 22 August 2018. A Vice President of Somali Region succeeds the president in the event of any removal from office, and performs any duties assigned by the president. The current vice president is Adam Farah Ibrahim. The other offices in the executive branch cabinet are the Regional Health Bureau, Educational Bureau, and 18 other officials.

List of Presidents of Somali Region

Judicial branch

There are three levels of the Somali region judiciary. The lowest level is the court of common pleas: each woreda maintains its own constitutionally mandated court of common pleas, which maintain jurisdiction over all justiciable matters. The intermediate-level court system is the district court system. Four courts of appeals exist, each retaining jurisdiction over appeals from common pleas, municipal, and county courts in an administrative zone. A case heard in this system is decided by a three-judge panel, and each judge is elected. The highest-ranking court, the Somali Supreme Court, is Somali's "court of last resort". A Seven-justice panel composes the court, which, by its own discretion, hears appeals from the courts of appeals, and retains original jurisdiction over limited matters. The chief judge is called the Chief of Soamli Supreme Court Abdullahi Saed Omar.

Legislative branch

The State Council, which is the highest administrative body of the state, is made up of 269 members.

National politics

Somali is represented by * 6 representatives in The House of Federation (upper house, upper chamber) and * 24 representatives in The House of Peoples' Representatives (lower house, lower chamber)

Administrative zones

Like other Regions in Ethiopia, Somali Region is subdivided into eleven administrative zones and Six Special administrative zones: * Sitti Zone (formerly Shinile) * Fafan Zone (formerly Jigjiga) * Jarar Zone, Jarar zone (formerly Degehabur) * Nogob Zone (formerly Fiq) * Erer Zone * Dollo Zone (formerly Warder) * Korahe Zone * Shabelle Zone (formerly Godey) * Afder Zone * Liben Zone * Awbare (woreda), Harawo Special Zone (special zone) * Tog Wajale, Tog Wajale Special Zone (special zone) * Gode, Gode Special Zone (special zone) * Kebri Beyah (woreda), Kebri Beyah Special Zone (special zone) * Degehabur (woreda), Degehabur Special Zone (special zone) The zones are themselves subdivided into List of districts in the Somali Region, districts.

See also

Ethiopia Ethiopia (; am, ኢትዮጵያ, , aa, Itiyoophiyaa, gez, ኢትዮጵያ, om , Itoophiyaa, so, Itoobiya, ti , ኢትዮጵያ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. ...

* List of airports in Ethiopia *Afar-Somali clashes


Further reading

* Tobias Hagmann, "Beyond clannishness and colonialism: understanding political disorder in Ethiopia's Somali Region, 1991- 2004", ''Journal of Modern African Studies'', 43 (2005), 509–536. * Abdi Ismail Samatar (2004): "Ethiopian Federalism: Autonomy versus Control in the Somali Region". ''Third World Quarterly'', Vol. 25/6 * John Markakis (1996): "The Somali in Ethiopia". ''Review of African Political Economy'', Vol. 23, No. 70, pp. 567–570 * John Markakis (1994): "Briefing: Somalia in the New Political Order of Ethiopia". ''Review of African Political Economy'', Vol. 21, No. 59 pp. 71–79

External links

Map of Somali Region at UN-OCHAMap of Somali Region at DPPA of Ethiopia
(PDF file)

Official Website of Ogaden-Somali region of Ethiopia"Ethiopia: Rains pound Somali region as death toll rises" - UN IRIN"Floods plague Horn of Africa, wash away refugee shelters" - UN News
{{Authority control Somali Region, Defunct political parties in Ethiopia Political parties established in 1994 1994 establishments in Ethiopia Regions of Ethiopia Somali-speaking countries and territories