Tigray (Region)

Tigray ( Ethiopic script: ትግራይ Təgray ) is an administrative region of Ethiopia. It lies in the north of the country and is part of the highlands of Abyssinia.

The region's capital is Mek'ele. The region was formed in 1991 under the new administrative division of Ethiopia as one of nine ethnically defined regions. It is largely, but not completely the same as the territory of the former province of Tigray.

Tigrinya is the working language of the region.


Titular nation and largest of these are the Tigray who speak the Ethio - Semitic language Tigrinya. A feeling of togetherness Tigrinya Speaker - traditionally identify themselves as residents of the geographic region, such as Agame, as well as " Habesha " - has emerged only recently, the creation of ethnically defined region of Tigray has reinforced this tendency.

According to the census of 2007, the 4,314,456 inhabitants of the region 96.55 % ( 4,165,749 ) of Tigray, 1.63 % ( 70 334 ) Amhara, 0.71% ( 30 517 ) iRob and 0.29 % ( 12,309 ) Afar. Numerically smaller minorities are the Rayya and Azebo who live as northern sub-groups of the Oromo in the south east of Tigray.

According to 1994 census, 95.44 % of the population spoke Tigrinya as a native language, Amharic 2.97% and 0.72 % Saho. 9.41% spoke a second language: 7.14% spoke Amharic addition, 1.51% Tigrinya.

95.6 % of residents are Tigray Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, 4% are Muslims. 19.5% live in cities.

2005 visited 50.6 % of children in Tigray ( 48.6 % of boys, 52.7 % girls ), a primary school, which is above the national average. 18.6% (19.6% boys, 17.6 % girls ) attending a school to secondary school.


Since originating from Tigray People's Liberation Front rebel movement of Tigray ( TPLF ) in 1991 the Marxist Derg military government fell, the political importance of the region has grown significantly, whereas previously the traditional Amhara had taken a dominant role. The guided by the TPLF party coalition EPRDF ( Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front ) ruled the country since then. The reigning since 1991 Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, Seyoum Mesfin and his foreign minister, many important people in the current government come from Tigray.

The Yirga Triangle is a contentious border between Tigray and Eritrea to the north adjacent. Since 2004, the UNHCR operates in Shimelba a camp for refugees from Eritrea, ( be named in Eritrea Tigrinya ) mainly Tigrinya - speaking and Kunama.

In the parliamentary elections of 2005, all 152 seats were won in the regional parliament of Tigray (Regional State Council ) to the TPLF. Arena Tigray is the main opposition party. Opposition accuse the TPLF and the comprehensive management of their dominant control and oppression before.


Two of the most important historical cities of Ethiopia are in Tigray: Aksum, which is known for its stelae, capital of the Aksumite Empire in late antiquity was; in Adwa defeated the Ethiopian army in 1896, the Italians, and thus prevented the colonization of Ethiopia. In addition, here is the monastery of Debre Damo. The largest city is the capital Mek'ele, another town Adigrat.

The Tigray region in its present form was formed under the new administrative division of Ethiopia after the takeover by the TPLF / EPRDF in 1991. They first called Region 1 for the Afar lowlands belonging to the eastern part of the former province of Tigray (which had been removed in 1987 as part of Assab Autonomous Region) this was part of the Afar Region. Towards the south and west of the region around the Tigrinya - speaking areas Tsellemti and Wolqayt ( Wolkait ) was extended, the TPLF claimed and the date of the provinces of Wollo and Begemder ( Gondar ) had heard.

1998-2000 Tigray was affected by the Eritrea - Ethiopia war.


The Tigray region, in addition to Wollo was traditionally one of the poorest areas of Ethiopia, since the power of the People's Liberation Front of Tigray experiencing an economic boom.

The most important source of income is agriculture, the main crops are teff, wheat and oats. Because the region is located in the precipitation shadow of the highlands, it is one of the generally poorer and more rain for drought prone areas of Ethiopia.

Administrative Divisions

Tigray is in the zones M'irabawi ( West), Misraqawi (East), Mehakelegnaw (central) and Debubawi (South) divided.