Ethiopian Institute for Nonviolence Education and Peace Studies

Languages

Republic of Ethiopia. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ye Etiyop'iya Hizbawi Dimokrasiyawi Ripublik. 67,851,281. National or official languages: Amharic, English, Tigrigna. Literacy rate: 23.4% (1998 CSA). Also includes Kunama (1,883), Sudanese Spoken Arabic. Information mainly from M. L. Bender 1971, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1989; Ralph Siebert 1998–1999. Blind population: 117,739; totally blind, 201,455; partially blind (1998 census). Deaf population: 131,359 hearing problems, 58,415 hearing and speaking problems (1998 census). Deaf institutions: 7. The number of languages listed for Ethiopia is 89. Of those, 84 are living languages and 5 are extinct.

Living languages

Aari

[aiz] 158,857 (1998 census). 129,350 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 155,002 (1989 census). North central Omo Region, southern tip of Ethiopian plateau, near the Hamer-Banna.Alternate names: Ari, Ara, Aro, Aarai, "Shankilla", "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna".  Dialects: Gozza, Bako (Baco), Biyo (Bio), Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer (Ubamer), Zeddo. Galila is a significantly divergent dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Afar
[aar] 979,367 in Ethiopia. 905,872 monolinguals (1998 census). Population total all countries: 1,439,367. Eastern lowlands, Afar Region. May also be in Somalia. Also spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea.Alternate names: Afaraf, "Danakil", "Denkel", `Afar Af, Adal.  Dialects: Northern Afar, Central Afar, Aussa, Baadu (Ba`adu). Related to Saho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Alaba
[alw] 126,257 (1998 census). 95,388 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 125,900 (1998 census). Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala. Separated by a river from the Kambatta.Alternate names: Allaaba, Halaba.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 81% with Kambaata, 64% with Sidamo, 56% with Libido, 54% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Amharic
[amh] 17,372,913 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 14,743,556 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 17,417,913. Ethnic population: 16,007,933 (1998 census). North central Ethiopia, Amhara Region, and in Addis Ababa. Also spoken in Egypt, Israel, Sweden. Alternate names:Abyssinian, Ethiopian, Amarinya, Amarigna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Anfillo
[myo] 500 (1990 SIL). Ethnic population: 1,000 (1990 SIL). Anfillo Forest, west of Dembi Dolo.Alternate names: Southern Mao.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 53% with Shekkacho.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, Central  
Anuak
[anu] 45,646 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 34,311 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 45,665 (1998 census). Gambela Region in the southwest. Along the Baro, Alworo, and Gilo rivers and on the right bank of the Akobo River. Gambela town is the main center. Alternate names: Anywak, Anyuak, Anywa, Yambo, Jambo, Yembo, Bar, Burjin, Miroy, Moojanga, Nuro.  Dialects: Adoyo, Coro, Lul, Opëno.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Luo, Northern, Anuak  
Arbore
[arv] 4,441 (1998 census). 3,907 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 6,559 (1998 census). Extreme southwest, Omo Region, near Lake Stefanie. Alternate names: Arbora, Erbore, Irbore.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Argobba
[agj] 10,860 (1998 census). 44,737 monolinguals. Population includes 47,285 in Amharic, 3,771 in Oromo, 541 in Tigrigna (1998 census). Ethnic population: 62,831 (1998 census). Fragmented areas along the Rift Valley in settlements like Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berket, Keramba, Mellajillo, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and surrounding rural villages. Dialects: Ankober, Shonke. It is reported that the 'purest' Argobba is spoken in Shonke and T'olaha. Lexical similarity 75% to 85% with Amharic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Awngi
[awn] 356,980 (1998 census). 279,326 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 397,491 (1998 census). Amhara Region. Widely scattered parts of Agew Midir and Metekel, southwest of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Awiya, Awi, Agaw, Agau, Agew, Agow, Awawar, Damot, Kwollanyoch. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Baiso
[bsw] 1,010 (1995 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,260 (1994 M. Brenzinger). Alge village near Merab Abaya, halfway between Soddo and Arba Minch (390); Gidicho Island, Baiso and Shigima villages (200); and Welege Island on Lake Abaya (420), and the western shore of the lake. Alternate names:Bayso, Alkali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Bambassi
[myf] 5,000 (1982 SIL). Beni Shangul Region, in and around Bambesi. Alternate names: Bambeshi, Siggoyo, Amam, Fadiro, Northern Mao, Didessa.  Dialects: Kere, Bambassi. Lexical similarity 31% with other Omotic languages, 17% with Hozo-Sezo (Bender 1983).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, East  
Basketo
[bst] 57,805 (1998 census). 42,726 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 51,097 (1998 census). North Omo Region, on a plateau west of Bulki. Alternate names: Basketto, Baskatta, Mesketo.  Dialects:Lexical similarity 61% with Oyda.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, West  
Bench
[bcq] 173,586 (1998 census). 149,293 monolinguals. Population includes 10,002 She, 1,070 Mer. Ethnic population: 173,123 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around Mizan Teferi and Shewa Bench towns. Alternate names: Gimira, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Dizu.  Dialects: Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Sce, Kaba).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Gimira  
Berta
[wti] 124,799 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 99,689 monolinguals including 4,146 Fadashi. Population includes 8,715 Fadashi. Population total all countries: 146,799. Ethnic population: 125,853 including 7,323 Fadashi (1998 census). Beni Shangul Region, the corner formed by the Blue Nile River and Sudan border north of Asosa, and Dalati, a village east of the Dabus River. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Beni Shangul, Bertha, Barta, Burta, Wetawit, Jebelawi.  Dialects: Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Fadashi, Dabuso, Gobato. Probably two or more languages. Fadashi may be separate.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Berta  
Birale
[bxe] 19 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 89 (2000 M. Brenzinger). One village on the west bank of the Weyt'o River, southeast Omo Region. Alternate names: 'Ongota, Birelle, Ifa'ongota, "Shanqilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Unclassified. Nearly extinct.
Boro
[bwo] 19,878 (1998 census). Population includes 144 Gamila; 2,276 second-language speakers including 45 Gamila; 18,567 monolinguals including 77 Gamila. Ethnic population: 32,894 including 186 Gamila (1998 census). Southwest Amhara Region, near the Blue Nile River.Alternate names: Bworo, Shinasha, Scinacia.  Dialects: Amuru, Wembera, Gamila, Guba. Related to Kafa. Scattered dialect groups. Lexical similarity 46% with Shekkacho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, North  
Burji
[bji] 35,731 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 29,259 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 42,731. Ethnic population: 46,565 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Bambala, Bembala, Daashi.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 41% with Sidamo (closest). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Bussa
[dox] 6,624 (1998 census). 4,955 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,207 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Dobase, D'oopace, D'opaasunte, Lohu, Mashile, Mashelle, Masholle, Mosiye, Musiye, Gobeze, Gowase, Goraze, Orase.  Dialects: There is a dialect chain with Komso-Dirasha-Dobase. Lexical similarity 78% with Gawwada, 51% with Komso, 86% with Gollango, 80% with Harso, 61% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Chara
[cra] 6,932. 5,556 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,984 (1998 census). Central Kafa Region, just north of the Omo River. Alternate names: Ciara.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Wolaytta. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Chara  
Daasanach
[dsh] 32,064 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 31,368 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 34,564. Ethnic population: 32,099 (1998 census). Lower Omo River, along Lake Turkana, extending into Kenya. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Dasenech, Daasanech, Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gelebinya, Gallab, Galuba, Gelab, Gelubba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Merille, Morille, Reshiat, Russia, "Shangilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Dime
[dim] 6,501 (1998 census). 4,785 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,197 (1998 census). Kafa Region, north of the Omo River, just before it turns south. Alternate names: Dima.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 47% with Banna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Dirasha
[gdl] 50,328 (1998 census). 41,685 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 54,354 (1998 census). Omo Region, in the hills west of Lake Chamo, around Gidole town. Alternate names: Dhirasha, Diraasha, Dirayta, Gardulla, Ghidole, Gidole.  Dialects: Part of a dialect cluster with Komso and Bussa. Lexical similarity 55% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Dizi
[mdx] 21,075 (1998 census). 17,583 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 21,894 (1998 census). Kafa Region, near Maji town. Alternate names: Maji, Dizi-Maji, Sizi, Twoyu.  Dialects: Related to Sheko, Nayi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Dorze
[doz] 20,782 (1998 census). 9,905 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,990 (1998 census). Mostly in North Omo Region in and around Chencha, but a significant community is in Addis Ababa.Dialects: Lexical similarity 82% to 87% with Gamo, 77% to 81% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Kullo, 54% with Koorete, 48% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
English
[eng] 1,986 in Ethiopia (1998 census).  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English  
Ethiopian Sign Language
[eth]   Classification: Deaf sign language  
Gamo-Gofa-Dawro
[gmo] 1,236,637 (1998 census). 1,046,084 monolinguals including 597,130 Gamo, 259,633 Dawro, 189,321 Gofa. Population includes 690,069 Gamo, 313,228 Dawro, 233,340 Gofa. Ethnic population: 1,292,860 (1998 census) including 719,847 Gamo, 331,483 Dawro, 241,530 Gofa (1998 census). Omo Region, in and around Arba Minch, and in the mountains west to Lake Abaya. Dache is a place name, not a language. Dialects: Gamo (Gemu), Gofa (Goffa), Dawro (Dauro, Kullo, Cullo, Ometay). Subdialects of Dawro are Konta (Conta) and Kucha (Kusha, Koysha). Gamo has 79% to 91% lexical similarity with Gofa, 79% to 89% with Wolaytta, 82% to 87% with Dorze, 73% to 80% with Dawro, 49% with Koorete, 44% with Male. Dawro has 76% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Ganza
[gza] 5,400 (2004). Ethnic population: 6,291 (2000 WCD). Western Oromo, near the Blue Nile.Alternate names: Ganzo, Koma.  Dialects: Related to Hozo-Sezo (Ruhlen 1987.322). Lexical similarity 14% with Omotic languages, 6% with Mao.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Gawwada
[gwd] 32,698 (1998 census). 27,477 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 33,971 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gauwada, Gawata, Kawwad'a, Kawwada.  Dialects:Dihina (Tihina, Tihinte), Gergere (K'ark'arte), Gobeze, Gollango (Kollanko), Gorose (Gorrose, Korrose), Harso (Worase). Lexical similarity 78% with Bussa, 73% with Tsamai, 77% with Harso, 92% with Gollango, 41% with Komso. Harso has 80% with Dobase, 56% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Gedeo
[drs] 637,082 (1998 census). 438,958 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 639,905 (1998 census). Central highland area, southwest of Dilla and east of Lake Abaya. Alternate names:Geddeo, Deresa, Derasa, Darasa, Derasanya, Darassa.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 60% with Sidamo (closest), 57% with Alaba, 54% with Kambaata, 51% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Gumuz
[guk] 120,424 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 88,192 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 160,424. Ethnic population: 121,487 (1998 census). Near Metemma on Sudan border south through Gondar and Gojjam, along Blue Nile and south into Wellaga and Didessa Valley up to Leqemt-Gimbi Road, and villages southwest of Addis Ababa, around Welqite (possibly 1,000). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Bega-Tse, Sigumza, Gumuzinya, Gumis, Gombo, Mendeya, "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna", "Shanqilla", Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Bega.  Dialects: Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. There are noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect cluster.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Gumuz  
Hadiyya
[hdy] 923,958 (1998 census). 595,107 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 927,933 (1998 census). Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, between the Omo and Billate rivers, in and around Hosaina town. Alternate names: Adiya, Adiye, Hadiya, Hadya, Adea, Hadia.  Dialects: Leemo, Soro. Lexical similarity 82% with Libido, 56% with Kambaata, 54% with Alaba, 53% with Sidamo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Hamer-Banna
[amf] 42,838 (1998 census). 38,354 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 42,466 (1998 census). South Omo Region, near the Omo River, and north of Lake Turkana, in the southwest corner, near the Kenya, Uganda, Sudan borders. Alternate names: Hamar-Koke, Hammercoche, Amarcocche, Cocche, Beshada, Hamer, Hammer, Hamar, Amer, Amar, Ammar, Banna, Bana, Kara Kerre.  Dialects: Hamer and Banna are separate ethnic groups who speak virtually the same language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Harari
[har] 21,283 (1998 census). 2,351 monolinguals. 20,000 in Addis Ababa, outside Harar city (Hetzron 1997:486). Ethnic population: 21,757 (1998 census). Homeland Eastern, traditionally within the walled city of Harar. Large communities in Addis Ababa, Nazareth, and Dire Dawa.Alternate names: Hararri, Adare, Adere, Aderinya, Adarinnya, Gey Sinan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Hozo
[hoz] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, Begi area, 50 or more villages. Alternate names:Begi-Mao.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Inor
[ior] 280,000. Population includes 50,000 Endegeny. West Gurage Region, Innemor and Endegeny woredas. Alternate names: Ennemor.  Dialects: Enegegny (Enner). Part of a Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Kachama-Ganjule
[kcx] 4,072 (1998 census). 1,002 monolinguals including 816 Kachama, 186 Ganjule. Population includes 2,682 Kachama,1,390 Ganjule; 419 second-language speakers including 223 Kachama, 196 Ganjule. Ethnic population: 3,886 (1998 census) including 2,740 Kachama, 1,146 Ganjule. Kachama is on Gidicho Island in Lake Abaya. Ganjule originally on a small island in Lake Chamo. Ganjule have recently relocated to Shela-Mela on the west shore of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gats'ame, Get'eme, Gatame.  Dialects: Ganjule (Ganjawle), Ganta, Kachama. Lexical similarity 46% with Wolaytta.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kacipo-Balesi
[koe] 4,120 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southern Ethiopia-Sudan border, Boma Plateau in Sudan (Kacipo). Dialects: Balesi (Baale, Bale), Zilmamu (Silmamo, Zelmamu, Zulmamu, Tsilmano), Kacipo (Kachepo, Suri, Western Suri).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Kacipo-Balesi  
Kafa
[kbr] 569,626. 445,018 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 599,188 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around the town of Bonga. There may be some in Sudan. Alternate names: Kaficho, Kefa, Keffa, Kaffa, Caffino, Manjo.  Dialects: Kafa, Bosha (Garo). Related to Shekkacho. Bosha may be a separate language. Manjo is an argot based on Kafa (Bender 1983). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Kambaata
[ktb] 606,241 (1998 census). 345,797 monolinguals including 278,567 Kambaata, 51,541 Timbaro, 15,689 Qebena (1998 census). Population includes 487,655 Kambaata, 82,803 Timbaro, 35,783 Qebena. Ethnic population: 621,407 (1998 census). Southwest Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region. Durame is the main town. Alternate names: Kambatta, Kambata, Kembata, Kemata, Kambara, Donga.  Dialects: Tambaro, Timbaro (Timbara, Timbaaro), Qebena (Qabena, Kebena, K'abena). Qebena may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 95% with Timbaro dialect, 81% with Allaaba, 62% with Sidamo, 57% with Libido, 56% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Karo
[kxh] 200 (1998 M. Yigezu). South Omo Region, upstream from the Daasanach, riverside settlements near the Hamer-Banna. Alternate names: Kerre, Cherre, Kere.  Dialects: Dialect or closely related language to Hamer-Banna. Lexical similarity 81% with Hamer-Banna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Kistane
[gru] 254,682 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 363,867 (1998 census) including 4,000 Gogot. Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, just southwest of Addis Ababa. Alternate names:Soddo, Soddo Gurage, North Gurage.  Dialects: Soddo (Aymallal, Aymellel, Kestane, Kistane), Dobi (Dobbi, Gogot, Goggot). Not intelligible with Silte or West Gurage. Dobi speakers' comprehension of Soddo is 76%, and Soddo speakers' comprehension of Dobi is 90%.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Komo
[xom] 1,500 in Ethiopia (1975 Bender). South and west of Kwama. Alternate names: Madiin, Koma, South Koma, Central Koma.  Dialects: Koma of Begi, Koma of Daga.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Komso
[kxc] 149,508 (1998 census). 138,696 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 153,419 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo in the bend of the Sagan River. A few migrants in Kenya. Alternate names: Konso, Conso, Gato, Af-Kareti, Karate, Kareti.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 51% with Bussa, 41% with Gawwada, 31% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Koorete
[kqy] 103,879. 84,388 monolinguals (1998 census). About 60 Harro families in Harro village on Gidicho (Gidicció) Island. Ethnic population: 107,595 (1998 census). In the Amaro mountains east of Lake Abaya, Sidama Region. Alternate names: Amarro, Amaarro, Badittu, Nuna, Koyra, Koore, Kwera.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Dorze, 53% with Wolaytta, 52% with Gofa, 49% with Gamo, 48% with Kullo, 45% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kunfal
[xuf] 2,000 (2000 M. Brenzinger). West of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Kunfäl, Kunfel, Kumfel. Dialects: Related to Awngi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Kwama
[kmq] 15,000 (1982 SIL). Along Sudan border in southern Beni Shangul Region, from south of Asosa to Gidami, and in Gambela and Bonga. 19 villages, including one (Yabus) in Sudan.Alternate names: Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Koma of Asosa, North Koma, Nokanoka, Afan Mao, Amam, T'wa Kwama.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Kwegu
[xwg] 103 (1998 census). 73 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 173 (1998 census). Kuchur village on the western bank of the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia. Alternate names: Koegu, Kwegi, Bacha, Menja, Nidi.  Dialects: Yidinich (Yidinit, Yidi), Muguji. The dialects listed may not be inherently intelligible with Kwegu; it may be a name for several hunter groups. Lexical similarity 36% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Kwegu  
Libido
[liq] 36,612 (1998 census). 14,623 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 38,096 (1998 census). Hadiyya, Kambaata, Gurage Region, northeast of Hosaina. Alternate names: Maraqo, Marako.  Dialects: Syntactic, morphological, and lexical differences from Hadiyya. Lexical similarity 82% with Hadiyya, 57% with Kambaata, 56% with Allaaba, 53% with Sidamo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Majang
[mpe] 15,341 (1998 census). 10,752 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 15,341 (1998 census). Southwest. Mainly within a long, narrow belt between Bure (east of Gambela) and Guraferda to the south. Covers part of Gambela, Oromo, and Kafa administrative regions. They have been scattered, but are now settling in villages. Alternate names: Mesengo, Masongo, Masango, Majanjiro, Tama, Ojanjur, Ajo, Ato Majang, Ato Majanger-Onk.  Dialects: Minor dialect variation.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, North, Majang  
Male
[mdy] 53,779 (1998 census). 40,660 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 46,458 (1998 census). Omo Region, southeast of Jinka. Dialects: Lexical similarity 48% with Dorze, 46% with Gofa, 45% with Koorete, 44% with Gamo, 43% with Wolaytta and Kullo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo  
Me'en
[mym] 56,585 (1998 census). 51,446 monolinguals including 4,553 Bodi. Population includes 4,570 Bodi. Ethnic population: 57,501 (1998 census) including 4,686 Bodi. Central Kafa Region, the Tishena in and around Bachuma, the Bodi in lowlands to the south, near the Omo River. Not in Sudan. Alternate names: Mekan, Mie'en, Mieken, Meqan, Men.  Dialects: Bodi (Podi), Tishena (Teshina, Teshenna). Tishena is inherently intelligible with Bodi. Close to Mursi. Lexical similarity 65% with Surma, 30% with Murle.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Me'en  
Melo
[mfx] 20,151 (1998 census). 13,264 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 20,189 (1998 census). North Omo Region, in and around Malo-Koza, northeast of the Basketo. Alternate names: Malo.  Dialects:Related to Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, but may not be inherently intelligible. The Language Academy said it should be considered a separate speech variety. Lexical similarity 70% with the majority of Ometo language varieties.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Mesqan
[mvz] 25,000 (2002). West Gurage Region, Mareqo woreda, principle villages: Mikayelo, Mesqan, and Hudat. Alternate names: Masqan, Meskan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Murle
[mur] 200 in Ethiopia (1975 Tournay). South of the Akobo River. Olam is in southwest Ethiopia and on the Sudan border. It is between Murle and Majang culturally and linguistically (Bender 1983).Alternate names: Murele, Merule, Mourle, Murule, Beir, Ajibba.  Dialects: Olam (Ngalam, Bangalam).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Didinga-Murle, Murle  
Mursi
[muz] 3,278 (1998 census). 3,155 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,258 (1998 census). Central Omo Region, lowlands southwest of Jinka. Alternate names: Murzi, Murzu, Merdu, Meritu, Dama. Dialects: Close to Suri of Sudan.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Nayi
[noz] 3,656 (1998 census). 1,137 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 4,005 (1998 census). Decha Awraja, Kafa Region, and scattered in other parts of Kafa. The nearest town is Bonga. A few in Dulkuma village of the Shoa Bench Wereda, and Aybera, Kosa, and Jomdos villages of Sheko Wereda. Alternate names: Na'o, Nao.  Dialects: Related to Dizi, Sheko. Lexical similarity 58% with Dizi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Nuer
[nus] 64,907 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 61,640 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 64,534 (1998 census). Along the Baro River, in Gambela Region. Alternate names: Naath.  Dialects: Eastern Nuer (Ji, Kany, Jikany, Door, Abigar).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Dinka-Nuer, Nuer  
Nyangatom
[nnj] 14,177 (1998 census). 13,797 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,201 (1998 census). Extreme southwest corner of Ethiopia, Omo Region. Two settlement centers: Omo River and Kibish River. Transhumance into the region of Moru Angipi in Sudan. Alternate names:Inyangatom, Donyiro, Dongiro, Idongiro.  Dialects: Inherently intelligible with Toposa and Turkana. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Opuuo
[lgn] 301 in Ethiopia. 235 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 307 (1998 census). 5 villages along the Sudan border north of the Anuak and Nuer. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Opo-Shita, Opo, Opuo, Cita, Ciita, Shita, Shiita, Ansita, Kina, Kwina, "Langa".  Dialects: Lexical similarity 24% with Koma.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
[gax] 3,634,000 in Ethiopia. Population total all countries: 3,827,616. South Oromo Region. Also spoken in Kenya, Somalia. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Southern Oromo, "Galla", "Gallinya", "Galligna".  Dialects: Borana (Boran, Borena), Arsi (Arussi, Arusi), Guji (Gujji, Jemjem), Kereyu, Salale (Selale), Gabra (Gabbra, Gebra). Harar is closely related, but distinct enough to need separate literature. In Kenya, Gabra and Sakuye may have significant dialect and language attitude differences from the Boran dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, Eastern
[hae] 4,526,000 (1998 census). Eastern and western Hararghe zone in northern Bale zone.Alternate names: "Qotu" Oromo, Harar, Harer, "Qottu", "Quottu", "Qwottu", "Kwottu", Ittu.  Dialects:Close to Borana Oromo, but divergent.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, West Central
[gaz] 8,920,000 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: All ethnic Oromo are 30,000,000 in Ethiopia. Oromo Region, West and Central Ethiopia, and along the Rift Valley escarpment east of Dessie and Woldiya. Also spoken in Egypt. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo, "Galla".  Dialects: Western Oromo, Central Oromo. Subdialects are Mecha (Maccha, Wellaga, Wallaga, Wollega), Raya, Wello (Wollo), Tulema (Tulama, Shoa, Shewa). Harar and Boran are different enough to need separate literature.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oyda
[oyd] 16,597 (1998 census). 6,244 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,075 (1998 census). Northwest Omo Region, southwest of Sawla. Dialects: Lexical similarity 69% with Wolaytta, 61% with Basketo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Qimant
[ahg] 1,650 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: 172,327 (1998 census). Northwest Amhara Region, north of Lake Tana. Communities of Qwara or Kayla are near Addis Ababa and in Eritrea. None in Sudan. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Kimanteney, Western Agaw. Dialects: Qimant (Kemant, Kimant, Kemanat, Kamant, Chemant, Qemant), Dembiya (Dembya, Dambya), Hwarasa (Qwara, Qwarina, "Kara"), Kayla, Semyen, Achpar, Kwolasa (Kwolacha). Distinct from Awngi, Bilen, and Xamtanga.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Western  
Saho
[ssy] 22,759 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Tigray. Alternate names: Sao, Shaho, Shoho, Shiho. Dialects: Irob.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Sebat Bet Gurage
[sgw] 440,000. Population includes Chaha 130,000, Gura 20,000, Muher 90,000, Gyeto 80,000, Ezha 120,000. West Gurage Region, Chaha is spoken in and around Emdibir, Gura is spoken in and around Gura Megenase and Wirir, Muher is spoken in and around Ch'eza and in the mountains north of Chaha and Ezha, Gyeto is spoken south of Ark'it' in K'abul and K'want'e, Ezha is spoken in Agenna. Alternate names: Central West Gurage, West Gurage, Guragie, Gouraghie, Gurague. Dialects: Chaha (Cheha), Ezha (Eza, Izha), Gumer (Gwemarra), Gura, Gyeto, Muher. A member of the Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Seze
[sze] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, near Begi, north of the Hozo. Alternate names:Sezo.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Shabo
[sbf] 400 to 500 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 600 or more (2000). Kafa Region, between Godere and Mashi, among the Majang and Shekkacho. Alternate names: Shako, "Mekeyer", "Mikeyir", "Mikair".  Dialects: Apparently a hybrid. Distinct from Sheko. Lexical similarity 30% with Majang, 12% with other West Cushitic (Omotic) languages.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Unclassified  
Shekkacho
[moy] 54,894 (1998 census). 36,449 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 53,897 (1998 census). North Kafa Region, in and around Maasha. Alternate names: Mocha, Shakacho, Shekka.  Dialects: Close to Kafa.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Sheko
[she] 23,785. 13,611 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 23,785 (1998 census). Kafa Region, Shako District. Gaizek'a is a monolingual community. Bajek'a, Selale, and Shimi are multilingual. Alternate names: Shekko, Shekka, Tschako, Shako, Shak.  Dialects: Dorsha, Bulla (Daan, Dan, Daanyir).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Sidamo
[sid] 1,876,329 (1998 census). 1,632,902 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,842,314 (1998 census). South central Ethiopia, northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa (Sidamo Awraja). Awasa is the capital of the Sidama Region. Alternate names: Sidámo 'Afó, Sidaminya. Dialects: Lexical similarity 64% with Allaaba, 62% with Kambaata, 53% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Silt'e
[xst] 827,764 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 900,348 (1998 census). About 150 km south of Addis Ababa. Alternate names: East Gurage, Selti, Silti.  Dialects: Enneqor (Inneqor), Ulbarag (Urbareg), Wolane (Walane). Not intelligible with West or North Gurage. 40% or less intelligible with Chaha (Central West Gurage).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Somali
[som] 3,334,113 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). 2,878,371 monolinguals. Southeast Ethiopia, Somali Region. Alternate names: Standard Somali, Common Somali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali  
Suri
[suq] 19,622 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 19,269 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 20,622. Ethnic population: 19,632 (1998 census). Southwestern Kafa Region toward the Sudan border. Some are west of Mizan Teferi. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Surma, Shuri, Churi, Dhuri, Shuro, Eastern Suri.  Dialects: Tirma (Tirima, Terema, Terna, Dirma, Cirma, Tirmaga, Tirmagi, Tid), Chai (Cai, Caci). Lexical similarity 81% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Tigrigna
[tir] 3,224,875 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 2,819,755 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 4,449,875. Ethnic population: 3,284,568 (1998 census). Tigray Province. Also spoken in Eritrea, Germany, Israel. Alternate names: Tigrinya, Tigray.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Tsamai
[tsb] 8,621 (1998 census). 5,298 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,702 (1998 census). Omo Region, lowlands west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Ts'amay, S'amai, Tamaha, Tsamako, Tsamakko, Bago S'aamakk-Ulo, Kuile, Kule, Cule.  Dialects: The Tsamai say Gawwada is difficult to understand. Possibly related to Birale. The most aberrant Dullay variety. Lexical similarity 56% to 73% with Gawwada dialects, 61% with Bussa, 31% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Turkana
[tuv] 25,163 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southwestern region west of the Omo River. Classification:Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Uduk
[udu] 20,000 in Ethiopia (1995 W. James). Large refugee camp at Bonga, near Gambela town, Gambela Region. Some still in Sudan (1995). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Twampa, Kwanim Pa, Burun, Kebeirka, Othan, Korara, Kumus.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Wolaytta
[wal] 1,231,673 (1998 census). 999,694 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,269,216 (1998 census). Wolaytta Region, Lake Abaya area. Alternate names: Wellamo, Welamo, Wollamo, Wallamo, Walamo, Ualamo, Uollamo, Wolaitta, Wolaita, Wolayta, Wolataita, Borodda, Uba, Ometo. Dialects: Zala. Dorze, Melo, Oyda may be dialects of Wolaytta or of Gamo-Gofa-Dawro. Lexical similarity 79% to 93% with Gamo, 84% with Gofa, 80% with Kullo and Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Xamtanga
[xan] 143,369 (1998 census). 93,889 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 158,231 (1998 census). North Amhara Region, Avergele District and Lasta and Waag zones, 100 km north of Weldiya. Alternate names: Khamtanga, Simt'anga, Agawinya, Xamta, Xamir.  Dialects: Low inherent intelligibility of Qemant. Lexical similarity 45% with Qemant.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Eastern  
Yemsa
[jnj] 81,613 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 165,184 (1998 census). Oromo Region, recognized as separate district, northeast of Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia, Fofa, and mixed with the Oromo in their villages; Sokoru, Saja, Deedoo, Sak'a, Jimma. Alternate names: Yem, Yemma, "Janjero", "Janjerinya", "Janjor", "Yangaro", "Zinjero".  Dialects: Fuga of Jimma, Toba. Fuga of Jimma may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 24% with Mocha language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Janjero  
Zay
[zwa] 4,880 (1994 SIL). Ethnic population: 4,880. Shores of Lake Zway and eastern islands in Lake Zway. Alternate names: Zway, Lak'i, Laqi, Gelilla.  Dialects: No dialect variations. Lexical similarity 61% with Harari, 70% with Silte (M. L. Bender 1971).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Zayse-Zergulla
[zay] 17,800 (1998 census). 7,530 monolinguals including 7,371 Zayse, 159 Zergulla. Population includes 10,172 Zayse, 7,625 Zergulla. Ethnic population: 11,232 (1998 census) including 10,842 Zayse, 390 Zergulla. Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Zaysse.  Dialects:Zergulla (Zergullinya), Zayse. Close to the Gidicho dialect of Koorete.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  

Extinct languages

Gafat

[gft] Extinct. South Blue Nile area. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Geez
[gez] Extinct. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Ancient Ethiopic, Ethiopic, Ge'ez, Giiz. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Mesmes
[mys] Extinct. Gurage, Hadiyya, Kambatta Region. Dialects: Related to West Gurage.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Rer Bare
[rer] Extinct. Wabi Shebelle River around Gode, eastern Ogaden, near Somali border, and along the Ganale and Dawa rivers. Alternate names: Rerebere, Adona.  Classification: Unclassified  
Weyto
[woy] Extinct. Ethnic population: 1,631 of whom 1,519 (93%) speak Amharic as first language, others speak other first languages. Lake Tana Region. Alternate names: Wayto, Weyt'o.  Dialects:The former language was possibly Eastern Sudanic or an Awngi variety (Bender 1983), or Cushitic (Bender, Bowen, Cooper, and Ferguson 1976:14).  Classification: Unclassified  

Source: Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Texas. SIL International. For further study please consult: http://www.ethnologue.com/.

Republic of Ethiopia. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ye Etiyop'iya Hizbawi Dimokrasiyawi Ripublik. 67,851,281. National or official languages: Amharic, English, Tigrigna. Literacy rate: 23.4% (1998 CSA). Also includes Kunama (1,883), Sudanese Spoken Arabic. Information mainly from M. L. Bender 1971, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1989; Ralph Siebert 1998–1999. Blind population: 117,739; totally blind, 201,455; partially blind (1998 census). Deaf population: 131,359 hearing problems, 58,415 hearing and speaking problems (1998 census). Deaf institutions: 7. The number of languages listed for Ethiopia is 89. Of those, 84 are living languages and 5 are extinct.

Living languages

Aari

[aiz] 158,857 (1998 census). 129,350 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 155,002 (1989 census). North central Omo Region, southern tip of Ethiopian plateau, near the Hamer-Banna.Alternate names: Ari, Ara, Aro, Aarai, "Shankilla", "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna".  Dialects: Gozza, Bako (Baco), Biyo (Bio), Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer (Ubamer), Zeddo. Galila is a significantly divergent dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Afar
[aar] 979,367 in Ethiopia. 905,872 monolinguals (1998 census). Population total all countries: 1,439,367. Eastern lowlands, Afar Region. May also be in Somalia. Also spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea.Alternate names: Afaraf, "Danakil", "Denkel", `Afar Af, Adal.  Dialects: Northern Afar, Central Afar, Aussa, Baadu (Ba`adu). Related to Saho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Alaba
[alw] 126,257 (1998 census). 95,388 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 125,900 (1998 census). Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala. Separated by a river from the Kambatta.Alternate names: Allaaba, Halaba.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 81% with Kambaata, 64% with Sidamo, 56% with Libido, 54% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Amharic
[amh] 17,372,913 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 14,743,556 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 17,417,913. Ethnic population: 16,007,933 (1998 census). North central Ethiopia, Amhara Region, and in Addis Ababa. Also spoken in Egypt, Israel, Sweden. Alternate names:Abyssinian, Ethiopian, Amarinya, Amarigna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Anfillo
[myo] 500 (1990 SIL). Ethnic population: 1,000 (1990 SIL). Anfillo Forest, west of Dembi Dolo.Alternate names: Southern Mao.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 53% with Shekkacho.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, Central  
Anuak
[anu] 45,646 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 34,311 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 45,665 (1998 census). Gambela Region in the southwest. Along the Baro, Alworo, and Gilo rivers and on the right bank of the Akobo River. Gambela town is the main center. Alternate names: Anywak, Anyuak, Anywa, Yambo, Jambo, Yembo, Bar, Burjin, Miroy, Moojanga, Nuro.  Dialects: Adoyo, Coro, Lul, Opëno.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Luo, Northern, Anuak  
Arbore
[arv] 4,441 (1998 census). 3,907 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 6,559 (1998 census). Extreme southwest, Omo Region, near Lake Stefanie. Alternate names: Arbora, Erbore, Irbore.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Argobba
[agj] 10,860 (1998 census). 44,737 monolinguals. Population includes 47,285 in Amharic, 3,771 in Oromo, 541 in Tigrigna (1998 census). Ethnic population: 62,831 (1998 census). Fragmented areas along the Rift Valley in settlements like Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berket, Keramba, Mellajillo, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and surrounding rural villages. Dialects: Ankober, Shonke. It is reported that the 'purest' Argobba is spoken in Shonke and T'olaha. Lexical similarity 75% to 85% with Amharic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Awngi
[awn] 356,980 (1998 census). 279,326 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 397,491 (1998 census). Amhara Region. Widely scattered parts of Agew Midir and Metekel, southwest of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Awiya, Awi, Agaw, Agau, Agew, Agow, Awawar, Damot, Kwollanyoch. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Baiso
[bsw] 1,010 (1995 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,260 (1994 M. Brenzinger). Alge village near Merab Abaya, halfway between Soddo and Arba Minch (390); Gidicho Island, Baiso and Shigima villages (200); and Welege Island on Lake Abaya (420), and the western shore of the lake. Alternate names:Bayso, Alkali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Bambassi
[myf] 5,000 (1982 SIL). Beni Shangul Region, in and around Bambesi. Alternate names: Bambeshi, Siggoyo, Amam, Fadiro, Northern Mao, Didessa.  Dialects: Kere, Bambassi. Lexical similarity 31% with other Omotic languages, 17% with Hozo-Sezo (Bender 1983).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, East  
Basketo
[bst] 57,805 (1998 census). 42,726 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 51,097 (1998 census). North Omo Region, on a plateau west of Bulki. Alternate names: Basketto, Baskatta, Mesketo.  Dialects:Lexical similarity 61% with Oyda.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, West  
Bench
[bcq] 173,586 (1998 census). 149,293 monolinguals. Population includes 10,002 She, 1,070 Mer. Ethnic population: 173,123 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around Mizan Teferi and Shewa Bench towns. Alternate names: Gimira, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Dizu.  Dialects: Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Sce, Kaba).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Gimira  
Berta
[wti] 124,799 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 99,689 monolinguals including 4,146 Fadashi. Population includes 8,715 Fadashi. Population total all countries: 146,799. Ethnic population: 125,853 including 7,323 Fadashi (1998 census). Beni Shangul Region, the corner formed by the Blue Nile River and Sudan border north of Asosa, and Dalati, a village east of the Dabus River. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Beni Shangul, Bertha, Barta, Burta, Wetawit, Jebelawi.  Dialects: Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Fadashi, Dabuso, Gobato. Probably two or more languages. Fadashi may be separate.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Berta  
Birale
[bxe] 19 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 89 (2000 M. Brenzinger). One village on the west bank of the Weyt'o River, southeast Omo Region. Alternate names: 'Ongota, Birelle, Ifa'ongota, "Shanqilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Unclassified. Nearly extinct.
Boro
[bwo] 19,878 (1998 census). Population includes 144 Gamila; 2,276 second-language speakers including 45 Gamila; 18,567 monolinguals including 77 Gamila. Ethnic population: 32,894 including 186 Gamila (1998 census). Southwest Amhara Region, near the Blue Nile River.Alternate names: Bworo, Shinasha, Scinacia.  Dialects: Amuru, Wembera, Gamila, Guba. Related to Kafa. Scattered dialect groups. Lexical similarity 46% with Shekkacho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, North  
Burji
[bji] 35,731 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 29,259 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 42,731. Ethnic population: 46,565 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Bambala, Bembala, Daashi.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 41% with Sidamo (closest). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Bussa
[dox] 6,624 (1998 census). 4,955 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,207 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Dobase, D'oopace, D'opaasunte, Lohu, Mashile, Mashelle, Masholle, Mosiye, Musiye, Gobeze, Gowase, Goraze, Orase.  Dialects: There is a dialect chain with Komso-Dirasha-Dobase. Lexical similarity 78% with Gawwada, 51% with Komso, 86% with Gollango, 80% with Harso, 61% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Chara
[cra] 6,932. 5,556 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,984 (1998 census). Central Kafa Region, just north of the Omo River. Alternate names: Ciara.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Wolaytta. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Chara  
Daasanach
[dsh] 32,064 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 31,368 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 34,564. Ethnic population: 32,099 (1998 census). Lower Omo River, along Lake Turkana, extending into Kenya. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Dasenech, Daasanech, Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gelebinya, Gallab, Galuba, Gelab, Gelubba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Merille, Morille, Reshiat, Russia, "Shangilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Dime
[dim] 6,501 (1998 census). 4,785 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,197 (1998 census). Kafa Region, north of the Omo River, just before it turns south. Alternate names: Dima.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 47% with Banna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Dirasha
[gdl] 50,328 (1998 census). 41,685 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 54,354 (1998 census). Omo Region, in the hills west of Lake Chamo, around Gidole town. Alternate names: Dhirasha, Diraasha, Dirayta, Gardulla, Ghidole, Gidole.  Dialects: Part of a dialect cluster with Komso and Bussa. Lexical similarity 55% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Dizi
[mdx] 21,075 (1998 census). 17,583 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 21,894 (1998 census). Kafa Region, near Maji town. Alternate names: Maji, Dizi-Maji, Sizi, Twoyu.  Dialects: Related to Sheko, Nayi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Dorze
[doz] 20,782 (1998 census). 9,905 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,990 (1998 census). Mostly in North Omo Region in and around Chencha, but a significant community is in Addis Ababa.Dialects: Lexical similarity 82% to 87% with Gamo, 77% to 81% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Kullo, 54% with Koorete, 48% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
English
[eng] 1,986 in Ethiopia (1998 census).  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English  
Ethiopian Sign Language
[eth]   Classification: Deaf sign language  
Gamo-Gofa-Dawro
[gmo] 1,236,637 (1998 census). 1,046,084 monolinguals including 597,130 Gamo, 259,633 Dawro, 189,321 Gofa. Population includes 690,069 Gamo, 313,228 Dawro, 233,340 Gofa. Ethnic population: 1,292,860 (1998 census) including 719,847 Gamo, 331,483 Dawro, 241,530 Gofa (1998 census). Omo Region, in and around Arba Minch, and in the mountains west to Lake Abaya. Dache is a place name, not a language. Dialects: Gamo (Gemu), Gofa (Goffa), Dawro (Dauro, Kullo, Cullo, Ometay). Subdialects of Dawro are Konta (Conta) and Kucha (Kusha, Koysha). Gamo has 79% to 91% lexical similarity with Gofa, 79% to 89% with Wolaytta, 82% to 87% with Dorze, 73% to 80% with Dawro, 49% with Koorete, 44% with Male. Dawro has 76% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Ganza
[gza] 5,400 (2004). Ethnic population: 6,291 (2000 WCD). Western Oromo, near the Blue Nile.Alternate names: Ganzo, Koma.  Dialects: Related to Hozo-Sezo (Ruhlen 1987.322). Lexical similarity 14% with Omotic languages, 6% with Mao.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Gawwada
[gwd] 32,698 (1998 census). 27,477 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 33,971 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gauwada, Gawata, Kawwad'a, Kawwada.  Dialects:Dihina (Tihina, Tihinte), Gergere (K'ark'arte), Gobeze, Gollango (Kollanko), Gorose (Gorrose, Korrose), Harso (Worase). Lexical similarity 78% with Bussa, 73% with Tsamai, 77% with Harso, 92% with Gollango, 41% with Komso. Harso has 80% with Dobase, 56% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Gedeo
[drs] 637,082 (1998 census). 438,958 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 639,905 (1998 census). Central highland area, southwest of Dilla and east of Lake Abaya. Alternate names:Geddeo, Deresa, Derasa, Darasa, Derasanya, Darassa.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 60% with Sidamo (closest), 57% with Alaba, 54% with Kambaata, 51% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Gumuz
[guk] 120,424 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 88,192 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 160,424. Ethnic population: 121,487 (1998 census). Near Metemma on Sudan border south through Gondar and Gojjam, along Blue Nile and south into Wellaga and Didessa Valley up to Leqemt-Gimbi Road, and villages southwest of Addis Ababa, around Welqite (possibly 1,000). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Bega-Tse, Sigumza, Gumuzinya, Gumis, Gombo, Mendeya, "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna", "Shanqilla", Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Bega.  Dialects: Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. There are noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect cluster.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Gumuz  
Hadiyya
[hdy] 923,958 (1998 census). 595,107 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 927,933 (1998 census). Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, between the Omo and Billate rivers, in and around Hosaina town. Alternate names: Adiya, Adiye, Hadiya, Hadya, Adea, Hadia.  Dialects: Leemo, Soro. Lexical similarity 82% with Libido, 56% with Kambaata, 54% with Alaba, 53% with Sidamo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Hamer-Banna
[amf] 42,838 (1998 census). 38,354 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 42,466 (1998 census). South Omo Region, near the Omo River, and north of Lake Turkana, in the southwest corner, near the Kenya, Uganda, Sudan borders. Alternate names: Hamar-Koke, Hammercoche, Amarcocche, Cocche, Beshada, Hamer, Hammer, Hamar, Amer, Amar, Ammar, Banna, Bana, Kara Kerre.  Dialects: Hamer and Banna are separate ethnic groups who speak virtually the same language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Harari
[har] 21,283 (1998 census). 2,351 monolinguals. 20,000 in Addis Ababa, outside Harar city (Hetzron 1997:486). Ethnic population: 21,757 (1998 census). Homeland Eastern, traditionally within the walled city of Harar. Large communities in Addis Ababa, Nazareth, and Dire Dawa.Alternate names: Hararri, Adare, Adere, Aderinya, Adarinnya, Gey Sinan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Hozo
[hoz] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, Begi area, 50 or more villages. Alternate names:Begi-Mao.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Inor
[ior] 280,000. Population includes 50,000 Endegeny. West Gurage Region, Innemor and Endegeny woredas. Alternate names: Ennemor.  Dialects: Enegegny (Enner). Part of a Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Kachama-Ganjule
[kcx] 4,072 (1998 census). 1,002 monolinguals including 816 Kachama, 186 Ganjule. Population includes 2,682 Kachama,1,390 Ganjule; 419 second-language speakers including 223 Kachama, 196 Ganjule. Ethnic population: 3,886 (1998 census) including 2,740 Kachama, 1,146 Ganjule. Kachama is on Gidicho Island in Lake Abaya. Ganjule originally on a small island in Lake Chamo. Ganjule have recently relocated to Shela-Mela on the west shore of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gats'ame, Get'eme, Gatame.  Dialects: Ganjule (Ganjawle), Ganta, Kachama. Lexical similarity 46% with Wolaytta.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kacipo-Balesi
[koe] 4,120 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southern Ethiopia-Sudan border, Boma Plateau in Sudan (Kacipo). Dialects: Balesi (Baale, Bale), Zilmamu (Silmamo, Zelmamu, Zulmamu, Tsilmano), Kacipo (Kachepo, Suri, Western Suri).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Kacipo-Balesi  
Kafa
[kbr] 569,626. 445,018 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 599,188 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around the town of Bonga. There may be some in Sudan. Alternate names: Kaficho, Kefa, Keffa, Kaffa, Caffino, Manjo.  Dialects: Kafa, Bosha (Garo). Related to Shekkacho. Bosha may be a separate language. Manjo is an argot based on Kafa (Bender 1983). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Kambaata
[ktb] 606,241 (1998 census). 345,797 monolinguals including 278,567 Kambaata, 51,541 Timbaro, 15,689 Qebena (1998 census). Population includes 487,655 Kambaata, 82,803 Timbaro, 35,783 Qebena. Ethnic population: 621,407 (1998 census). Southwest Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region. Durame is the main town. Alternate names: Kambatta, Kambata, Kembata, Kemata, Kambara, Donga.  Dialects: Tambaro, Timbaro (Timbara, Timbaaro), Qebena (Qabena, Kebena, K'abena). Qebena may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 95% with Timbaro dialect, 81% with Allaaba, 62% with Sidamo, 57% with Libido, 56% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Karo
[kxh] 200 (1998 M. Yigezu). South Omo Region, upstream from the Daasanach, riverside settlements near the Hamer-Banna. Alternate names: Kerre, Cherre, Kere.  Dialects: Dialect or closely related language to Hamer-Banna. Lexical similarity 81% with Hamer-Banna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Kistane
[gru] 254,682 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 363,867 (1998 census) including 4,000 Gogot. Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, just southwest of Addis Ababa. Alternate names:Soddo, Soddo Gurage, North Gurage.  Dialects: Soddo (Aymallal, Aymellel, Kestane, Kistane), Dobi (Dobbi, Gogot, Goggot). Not intelligible with Silte or West Gurage. Dobi speakers' comprehension of Soddo is 76%, and Soddo speakers' comprehension of Dobi is 90%.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Komo
[xom] 1,500 in Ethiopia (1975 Bender). South and west of Kwama. Alternate names: Madiin, Koma, South Koma, Central Koma.  Dialects: Koma of Begi, Koma of Daga.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Komso
[kxc] 149,508 (1998 census). 138,696 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 153,419 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo in the bend of the Sagan River. A few migrants in Kenya. Alternate names: Konso, Conso, Gato, Af-Kareti, Karate, Kareti.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 51% with Bussa, 41% with Gawwada, 31% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Koorete
[kqy] 103,879. 84,388 monolinguals (1998 census). About 60 Harro families in Harro village on Gidicho (Gidicció) Island. Ethnic population: 107,595 (1998 census). In the Amaro mountains east of Lake Abaya, Sidama Region. Alternate names: Amarro, Amaarro, Badittu, Nuna, Koyra, Koore, Kwera.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Dorze, 53% with Wolaytta, 52% with Gofa, 49% with Gamo, 48% with Kullo, 45% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kunfal
[xuf] 2,000 (2000 M. Brenzinger). West of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Kunfäl, Kunfel, Kumfel. Dialects: Related to Awngi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Kwama
[kmq] 15,000 (1982 SIL). Along Sudan border in southern Beni Shangul Region, from south of Asosa to Gidami, and in Gambela and Bonga. 19 villages, including one (Yabus) in Sudan.Alternate names: Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Koma of Asosa, North Koma, Nokanoka, Afan Mao, Amam, T'wa Kwama.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Kwegu
[xwg] 103 (1998 census). 73 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 173 (1998 census). Kuchur village on the western bank of the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia. Alternate names: Koegu, Kwegi, Bacha, Menja, Nidi.  Dialects: Yidinich (Yidinit, Yidi), Muguji. The dialects listed may not be inherently intelligible with Kwegu; it may be a name for several hunter groups. Lexical similarity 36% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Kwegu  
Libido
[liq] 36,612 (1998 census). 14,623 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 38,096 (1998 census). Hadiyya, Kambaata, Gurage Region, northeast of Hosaina. Alternate names: Maraqo, Marako.  Dialects: Syntactic, morphological, and lexical differences from Hadiyya. Lexical similarity 82% with Hadiyya, 57% with Kambaata, 56% with Allaaba, 53% with Sidamo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Majang
[mpe] 15,341 (1998 census). 10,752 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 15,341 (1998 census). Southwest. Mainly within a long, narrow belt between Bure (east of Gambela) and Guraferda to the south. Covers part of Gambela, Oromo, and Kafa administrative regions. They have been scattered, but are now settling in villages. Alternate names: Mesengo, Masongo, Masango, Majanjiro, Tama, Ojanjur, Ajo, Ato Majang, Ato Majanger-Onk.  Dialects: Minor dialect variation.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, North, Majang  
Male
[mdy] 53,779 (1998 census). 40,660 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 46,458 (1998 census). Omo Region, southeast of Jinka. Dialects: Lexical similarity 48% with Dorze, 46% with Gofa, 45% with Koorete, 44% with Gamo, 43% with Wolaytta and Kullo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo  
Me'en
[mym] 56,585 (1998 census). 51,446 monolinguals including 4,553 Bodi. Population includes 4,570 Bodi. Ethnic population: 57,501 (1998 census) including 4,686 Bodi. Central Kafa Region, the Tishena in and around Bachuma, the Bodi in lowlands to the south, near the Omo River. Not in Sudan. Alternate names: Mekan, Mie'en, Mieken, Meqan, Men.  Dialects: Bodi (Podi), Tishena (Teshina, Teshenna). Tishena is inherently intelligible with Bodi. Close to Mursi. Lexical similarity 65% with Surma, 30% with Murle.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Me'en  
Melo
[mfx] 20,151 (1998 census). 13,264 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 20,189 (1998 census). North Omo Region, in and around Malo-Koza, northeast of the Basketo. Alternate names: Malo.  Dialects:Related to Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, but may not be inherently intelligible. The Language Academy said it should be considered a separate speech variety. Lexical similarity 70% with the majority of Ometo language varieties.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Mesqan
[mvz] 25,000 (2002). West Gurage Region, Mareqo woreda, principle villages: Mikayelo, Mesqan, and Hudat. Alternate names: Masqan, Meskan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Murle
[mur] 200 in Ethiopia (1975 Tournay). South of the Akobo River. Olam is in southwest Ethiopia and on the Sudan border. It is between Murle and Majang culturally and linguistically (Bender 1983).Alternate names: Murele, Merule, Mourle, Murule, Beir, Ajibba.  Dialects: Olam (Ngalam, Bangalam).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Didinga-Murle, Murle  
Mursi
[muz] 3,278 (1998 census). 3,155 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,258 (1998 census). Central Omo Region, lowlands southwest of Jinka. Alternate names: Murzi, Murzu, Merdu, Meritu, Dama. Dialects: Close to Suri of Sudan.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Nayi
[noz] 3,656 (1998 census). 1,137 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 4,005 (1998 census). Decha Awraja, Kafa Region, and scattered in other parts of Kafa. The nearest town is Bonga. A few in Dulkuma village of the Shoa Bench Wereda, and Aybera, Kosa, and Jomdos villages of Sheko Wereda. Alternate names: Na'o, Nao.  Dialects: Related to Dizi, Sheko. Lexical similarity 58% with Dizi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Nuer
[nus] 64,907 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 61,640 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 64,534 (1998 census). Along the Baro River, in Gambela Region. Alternate names: Naath.  Dialects: Eastern Nuer (Ji, Kany, Jikany, Door, Abigar).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Dinka-Nuer, Nuer  
Nyangatom
[nnj] 14,177 (1998 census). 13,797 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,201 (1998 census). Extreme southwest corner of Ethiopia, Omo Region. Two settlement centers: Omo River and Kibish River. Transhumance into the region of Moru Angipi in Sudan. Alternate names:Inyangatom, Donyiro, Dongiro, Idongiro.  Dialects: Inherently intelligible with Toposa and Turkana. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Opuuo
[lgn] 301 in Ethiopia. 235 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 307 (1998 census). 5 villages along the Sudan border north of the Anuak and Nuer. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Opo-Shita, Opo, Opuo, Cita, Ciita, Shita, Shiita, Ansita, Kina, Kwina, "Langa".  Dialects: Lexical similarity 24% with Koma.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
[gax] 3,634,000 in Ethiopia. Population total all countries: 3,827,616. South Oromo Region. Also spoken in Kenya, Somalia. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Southern Oromo, "Galla", "Gallinya", "Galligna".  Dialects: Borana (Boran, Borena), Arsi (Arussi, Arusi), Guji (Gujji, Jemjem), Kereyu, Salale (Selale), Gabra (Gabbra, Gebra). Harar is closely related, but distinct enough to need separate literature. In Kenya, Gabra and Sakuye may have significant dialect and language attitude differences from the Boran dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, Eastern
[hae] 4,526,000 (1998 census). Eastern and western Hararghe zone in northern Bale zone.Alternate names: "Qotu" Oromo, Harar, Harer, "Qottu", "Quottu", "Qwottu", "Kwottu", Ittu.  Dialects:Close to Borana Oromo, but divergent.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, West Central
[gaz] 8,920,000 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: All ethnic Oromo are 30,000,000 in Ethiopia. Oromo Region, West and Central Ethiopia, and along the Rift Valley escarpment east of Dessie and Woldiya. Also spoken in Egypt. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo, "Galla".  Dialects: Western Oromo, Central Oromo. Subdialects are Mecha (Maccha, Wellaga, Wallaga, Wollega), Raya, Wello (Wollo), Tulema (Tulama, Shoa, Shewa). Harar and Boran are different enough to need separate literature.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oyda
[oyd] 16,597 (1998 census). 6,244 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,075 (1998 census). Northwest Omo Region, southwest of Sawla. Dialects: Lexical similarity 69% with Wolaytta, 61% with Basketo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Qimant
[ahg] 1,650 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: 172,327 (1998 census). Northwest Amhara Region, north of Lake Tana. Communities of Qwara or Kayla are near Addis Ababa and in Eritrea. None in Sudan. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Kimanteney, Western Agaw. Dialects: Qimant (Kemant, Kimant, Kemanat, Kamant, Chemant, Qemant), Dembiya (Dembya, Dambya), Hwarasa (Qwara, Qwarina, "Kara"), Kayla, Semyen, Achpar, Kwolasa (Kwolacha). Distinct from Awngi, Bilen, and Xamtanga.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Western  
Saho
[ssy] 22,759 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Tigray. Alternate names: Sao, Shaho, Shoho, Shiho. Dialects: Irob.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Sebat Bet Gurage
[sgw] 440,000. Population includes Chaha 130,000, Gura 20,000, Muher 90,000, Gyeto 80,000, Ezha 120,000. West Gurage Region, Chaha is spoken in and around Emdibir, Gura is spoken in and around Gura Megenase and Wirir, Muher is spoken in and around Ch'eza and in the mountains north of Chaha and Ezha, Gyeto is spoken south of Ark'it' in K'abul and K'want'e, Ezha is spoken in Agenna. Alternate names: Central West Gurage, West Gurage, Guragie, Gouraghie, Gurague. Dialects: Chaha (Cheha), Ezha (Eza, Izha), Gumer (Gwemarra), Gura, Gyeto, Muher. A member of the Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Seze
[sze] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, near Begi, north of the Hozo. Alternate names:Sezo.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Shabo
[sbf] 400 to 500 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 600 or more (2000). Kafa Region, between Godere and Mashi, among the Majang and Shekkacho. Alternate names: Shako, "Mekeyer", "Mikeyir", "Mikair".  Dialects: Apparently a hybrid. Distinct from Sheko. Lexical similarity 30% with Majang, 12% with other West Cushitic (Omotic) languages.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Unclassified  
Shekkacho
[moy] 54,894 (1998 census). 36,449 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 53,897 (1998 census). North Kafa Region, in and around Maasha. Alternate names: Mocha, Shakacho, Shekka.  Dialects: Close to Kafa.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Sheko
[she] 23,785. 13,611 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 23,785 (1998 census). Kafa Region, Shako District. Gaizek'a is a monolingual community. Bajek'a, Selale, and Shimi are multilingual. Alternate names: Shekko, Shekka, Tschako, Shako, Shak.  Dialects: Dorsha, Bulla (Daan, Dan, Daanyir).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Sidamo
[sid] 1,876,329 (1998 census). 1,632,902 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,842,314 (1998 census). South central Ethiopia, northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa (Sidamo Awraja). Awasa is the capital of the Sidama Region. Alternate names: Sidámo 'Afó, Sidaminya. Dialects: Lexical similarity 64% with Allaaba, 62% with Kambaata, 53% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Silt'e
[xst] 827,764 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 900,348 (1998 census). About 150 km south of Addis Ababa. Alternate names: East Gurage, Selti, Silti.  Dialects: Enneqor (Inneqor), Ulbarag (Urbareg), Wolane (Walane). Not intelligible with West or North Gurage. 40% or less intelligible with Chaha (Central West Gurage).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Somali
[som] 3,334,113 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). 2,878,371 monolinguals. Southeast Ethiopia, Somali Region. Alternate names: Standard Somali, Common Somali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali  
Suri
[suq] 19,622 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 19,269 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 20,622. Ethnic population: 19,632 (1998 census). Southwestern Kafa Region toward the Sudan border. Some are west of Mizan Teferi. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Surma, Shuri, Churi, Dhuri, Shuro, Eastern Suri.  Dialects: Tirma (Tirima, Terema, Terna, Dirma, Cirma, Tirmaga, Tirmagi, Tid), Chai (Cai, Caci). Lexical similarity 81% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Tigrigna
[tir] 3,224,875 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 2,819,755 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 4,449,875. Ethnic population: 3,284,568 (1998 census). Tigray Province. Also spoken in Eritrea, Germany, Israel. Alternate names: Tigrinya, Tigray.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Tsamai
[tsb] 8,621 (1998 census). 5,298 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,702 (1998 census). Omo Region, lowlands west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Ts'amay, S'amai, Tamaha, Tsamako, Tsamakko, Bago S'aamakk-Ulo, Kuile, Kule, Cule.  Dialects: The Tsamai say Gawwada is difficult to understand. Possibly related to Birale. The most aberrant Dullay variety. Lexical similarity 56% to 73% with Gawwada dialects, 61% with Bussa, 31% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Turkana
[tuv] 25,163 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southwestern region west of the Omo River. Classification:Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Uduk
[udu] 20,000 in Ethiopia (1995 W. James). Large refugee camp at Bonga, near Gambela town, Gambela Region. Some still in Sudan (1995). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Twampa, Kwanim Pa, Burun, Kebeirka, Othan, Korara, Kumus.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Wolaytta
[wal] 1,231,673 (1998 census). 999,694 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,269,216 (1998 census). Wolaytta Region, Lake Abaya area. Alternate names: Wellamo, Welamo, Wollamo, Wallamo, Walamo, Ualamo, Uollamo, Wolaitta, Wolaita, Wolayta, Wolataita, Borodda, Uba, Ometo. Dialects: Zala. Dorze, Melo, Oyda may be dialects of Wolaytta or of Gamo-Gofa-Dawro. Lexical similarity 79% to 93% with Gamo, 84% with Gofa, 80% with Kullo and Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Xamtanga
[xan] 143,369 (1998 census). 93,889 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 158,231 (1998 census). North Amhara Region, Avergele District and Lasta and Waag zones, 100 km north of Weldiya. Alternate names: Khamtanga, Simt'anga, Agawinya, Xamta, Xamir.  Dialects: Low inherent intelligibility of Qemant. Lexical similarity 45% with Qemant.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Eastern  
Yemsa
[jnj] 81,613 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 165,184 (1998 census). Oromo Region, recognized as separate district, northeast of Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia, Fofa, and mixed with the Oromo in their villages; Sokoru, Saja, Deedoo, Sak'a, Jimma. Alternate names: Yem, Yemma, "Janjero", "Janjerinya", "Janjor", "Yangaro", "Zinjero".  Dialects: Fuga of Jimma, Toba. Fuga of Jimma may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 24% with Mocha language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Janjero  
Zay
[zwa] 4,880 (1994 SIL). Ethnic population: 4,880. Shores of Lake Zway and eastern islands in Lake Zway. Alternate names: Zway, Lak'i, Laqi, Gelilla.  Dialects: No dialect variations. Lexical similarity 61% with Harari, 70% with Silte (M. L. Bender 1971).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Zayse-Zergulla
[zay] 17,800 (1998 census). 7,530 monolinguals including 7,371 Zayse, 159 Zergulla. Population includes 10,172 Zayse, 7,625 Zergulla. Ethnic population: 11,232 (1998 census) including 10,842 Zayse, 390 Zergulla. Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Zaysse.  Dialects:Zergulla (Zergullinya), Zayse. Close to the Gidicho dialect of Koorete.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  

Extinct languages

Gafat

[gft] Extinct. South Blue Nile area. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Geez
[gez] Extinct. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Ancient Ethiopic, Ethiopic, Ge'ez, Giiz. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Mesmes
[mys] Extinct. Gurage, Hadiyya, Kambatta Region. Dialects: Related to West Gurage.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Rer Bare
[rer] Extinct. Wabi Shebelle River around Gode, eastern Ogaden, near Somali border, and along the Ganale and Dawa rivers. Alternate names: Rerebere, Adona.  Classification: Unclassified  
Weyto
[woy] Extinct. Ethnic population: 1,631 of whom 1,519 (93%) speak Amharic as first language, others speak other first languages. Lake Tana Region. Alternate names: Wayto, Weyt'o.  Dialects:The former language was possibly Eastern Sudanic or an Awngi variety (Bender 1983), or Cushitic (Bender, Bowen, Cooper, and Ferguson 1976:14).  Classification: Unclassified  

Source: Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Texas. SIL International. For further study please consult: http://www.ethnologue.com/.

Republic of Ethiopia. Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Ye Etiyop'iya Hizbawi Dimokrasiyawi Ripublik. 67,851,281. National or official languages: Amharic, English, Tigrigna. Literacy rate: 23.4% (1998 CSA). Also includes Kunama (1,883), Sudanese Spoken Arabic. Information mainly from M. L. Bender 1971, 1975, 1976, 1983, 1989; Ralph Siebert 1998–1999. Blind population: 117,739; totally blind, 201,455; partially blind (1998 census). Deaf population: 131,359 hearing problems, 58,415 hearing and speaking problems (1998 census). Deaf institutions: 7. The number of languages listed for Ethiopia is 89. Of those, 84 are living languages and 5 are extinct.

Living languages

Aari

[aiz] 158,857 (1998 census). 129,350 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 155,002 (1989 census). North central Omo Region, southern tip of Ethiopian plateau, near the Hamer-Banna.Alternate names: Ari, Ara, Aro, Aarai, "Shankilla", "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna".  Dialects: Gozza, Bako (Baco), Biyo (Bio), Galila, Laydo, Seyki, Shangama, Sido, Wubahamer (Ubamer), Zeddo. Galila is a significantly divergent dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Afar
[aar] 979,367 in Ethiopia. 905,872 monolinguals (1998 census). Population total all countries: 1,439,367. Eastern lowlands, Afar Region. May also be in Somalia. Also spoken in Djibouti, Eritrea.Alternate names: Afaraf, "Danakil", "Denkel", `Afar Af, Adal.  Dialects: Northern Afar, Central Afar, Aussa, Baadu (Ba`adu). Related to Saho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Alaba
[alw] 126,257 (1998 census). 95,388 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 125,900 (1998 census). Rift Valley southwest of Lake Shala. Separated by a river from the Kambatta.Alternate names: Allaaba, Halaba.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 81% with Kambaata, 64% with Sidamo, 56% with Libido, 54% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Amharic
[amh] 17,372,913 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 14,743,556 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 17,417,913. Ethnic population: 16,007,933 (1998 census). North central Ethiopia, Amhara Region, and in Addis Ababa. Also spoken in Egypt, Israel, Sweden. Alternate names:Abyssinian, Ethiopian, Amarinya, Amarigna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Anfillo
[myo] 500 (1990 SIL). Ethnic population: 1,000 (1990 SIL). Anfillo Forest, west of Dembi Dolo.Alternate names: Southern Mao.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 53% with Shekkacho.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, Central  
Anuak
[anu] 45,646 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 34,311 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 45,665 (1998 census). Gambela Region in the southwest. Along the Baro, Alworo, and Gilo rivers and on the right bank of the Akobo River. Gambela town is the main center. Alternate names: Anywak, Anyuak, Anywa, Yambo, Jambo, Yembo, Bar, Burjin, Miroy, Moojanga, Nuro.  Dialects: Adoyo, Coro, Lul, Opëno.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Luo, Northern, Anuak  
Arbore
[arv] 4,441 (1998 census). 3,907 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 6,559 (1998 census). Extreme southwest, Omo Region, near Lake Stefanie. Alternate names: Arbora, Erbore, Irbore.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Argobba
[agj] 10,860 (1998 census). 44,737 monolinguals. Population includes 47,285 in Amharic, 3,771 in Oromo, 541 in Tigrigna (1998 census). Ethnic population: 62,831 (1998 census). Fragmented areas along the Rift Valley in settlements like Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berket, Keramba, Mellajillo, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and surrounding rural villages. Dialects: Ankober, Shonke. It is reported that the 'purest' Argobba is spoken in Shonke and T'olaha. Lexical similarity 75% to 85% with Amharic.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Amharic-Argobba  
Awngi
[awn] 356,980 (1998 census). 279,326 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 397,491 (1998 census). Amhara Region. Widely scattered parts of Agew Midir and Metekel, southwest of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Awiya, Awi, Agaw, Agau, Agew, Agow, Awawar, Damot, Kwollanyoch. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Baiso
[bsw] 1,010 (1995 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,260 (1994 M. Brenzinger). Alge village near Merab Abaya, halfway between Soddo and Arba Minch (390); Gidicho Island, Baiso and Shigima villages (200); and Welege Island on Lake Abaya (420), and the western shore of the lake. Alternate names:Bayso, Alkali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Bambassi
[myf] 5,000 (1982 SIL). Beni Shangul Region, in and around Bambesi. Alternate names: Bambeshi, Siggoyo, Amam, Fadiro, Northern Mao, Didessa.  Dialects: Kere, Bambassi. Lexical similarity 31% with other Omotic languages, 17% with Hozo-Sezo (Bender 1983).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, East  
Basketo
[bst] 57,805 (1998 census). 42,726 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 51,097 (1998 census). North Omo Region, on a plateau west of Bulki. Alternate names: Basketto, Baskatta, Mesketo.  Dialects:Lexical similarity 61% with Oyda.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, West  
Bench
[bcq] 173,586 (1998 census). 149,293 monolinguals. Population includes 10,002 She, 1,070 Mer. Ethnic population: 173,123 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around Mizan Teferi and Shewa Bench towns. Alternate names: Gimira, Ghimarra, Gimarra, Dizu.  Dialects: Bench (Bencho, Benesho), Mer (Mieru), She (Sce, Kaba).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Gimira  
Berta
[wti] 124,799 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 99,689 monolinguals including 4,146 Fadashi. Population includes 8,715 Fadashi. Population total all countries: 146,799. Ethnic population: 125,853 including 7,323 Fadashi (1998 census). Beni Shangul Region, the corner formed by the Blue Nile River and Sudan border north of Asosa, and Dalati, a village east of the Dabus River. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Beni Shangul, Bertha, Barta, Burta, Wetawit, Jebelawi.  Dialects: Shuru, Bake, Undu, Mayu, Fadashi, Dabuso, Gobato. Probably two or more languages. Fadashi may be separate.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Berta  
Birale
[bxe] 19 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 89 (2000 M. Brenzinger). One village on the west bank of the Weyt'o River, southeast Omo Region. Alternate names: 'Ongota, Birelle, Ifa'ongota, "Shanqilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Unclassified. Nearly extinct.
Boro
[bwo] 19,878 (1998 census). Population includes 144 Gamila; 2,276 second-language speakers including 45 Gamila; 18,567 monolinguals including 77 Gamila. Ethnic population: 32,894 including 186 Gamila (1998 census). Southwest Amhara Region, near the Blue Nile River.Alternate names: Bworo, Shinasha, Scinacia.  Dialects: Amuru, Wembera, Gamila, Guba. Related to Kafa. Scattered dialect groups. Lexical similarity 46% with Shekkacho.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, North  
Burji
[bji] 35,731 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 29,259 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 42,731. Ethnic population: 46,565 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Bambala, Bembala, Daashi.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 41% with Sidamo (closest). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Bussa
[dox] 6,624 (1998 census). 4,955 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,207 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Dobase, D'oopace, D'opaasunte, Lohu, Mashile, Mashelle, Masholle, Mosiye, Musiye, Gobeze, Gowase, Goraze, Orase.  Dialects: There is a dialect chain with Komso-Dirasha-Dobase. Lexical similarity 78% with Gawwada, 51% with Komso, 86% with Gollango, 80% with Harso, 61% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Chara
[cra] 6,932. 5,556 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,984 (1998 census). Central Kafa Region, just north of the Omo River. Alternate names: Ciara.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Wolaytta. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Chara  
Daasanach
[dsh] 32,064 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 31,368 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 34,564. Ethnic population: 32,099 (1998 census). Lower Omo River, along Lake Turkana, extending into Kenya. Also spoken in Kenya. Alternate names: Dasenech, Daasanech, Dathanaik, Dathanaic, Dathanik, Gheleba, Geleba, Geleb, Gelebinya, Gallab, Galuba, Gelab, Gelubba, Dama, Marille, Merile, Merille, Morille, Reshiat, Russia, "Shangilla".  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Western Omo-Tana  
Dime
[dim] 6,501 (1998 census). 4,785 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 6,197 (1998 census). Kafa Region, north of the Omo River, just before it turns south. Alternate names: Dima.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 47% with Banna.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Dirasha
[gdl] 50,328 (1998 census). 41,685 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 54,354 (1998 census). Omo Region, in the hills west of Lake Chamo, around Gidole town. Alternate names: Dhirasha, Diraasha, Dirayta, Gardulla, Ghidole, Gidole.  Dialects: Part of a dialect cluster with Komso and Bussa. Lexical similarity 55% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Dizi
[mdx] 21,075 (1998 census). 17,583 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 21,894 (1998 census). Kafa Region, near Maji town. Alternate names: Maji, Dizi-Maji, Sizi, Twoyu.  Dialects: Related to Sheko, Nayi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Dorze
[doz] 20,782 (1998 census). 9,905 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 28,990 (1998 census). Mostly in North Omo Region in and around Chencha, but a significant community is in Addis Ababa.Dialects: Lexical similarity 82% to 87% with Gamo, 77% to 81% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Kullo, 54% with Koorete, 48% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
English
[eng] 1,986 in Ethiopia (1998 census).  Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English  
Ethiopian Sign Language
[eth]   Classification: Deaf sign language  
Gamo-Gofa-Dawro
[gmo] 1,236,637 (1998 census). 1,046,084 monolinguals including 597,130 Gamo, 259,633 Dawro, 189,321 Gofa. Population includes 690,069 Gamo, 313,228 Dawro, 233,340 Gofa. Ethnic population: 1,292,860 (1998 census) including 719,847 Gamo, 331,483 Dawro, 241,530 Gofa (1998 census). Omo Region, in and around Arba Minch, and in the mountains west to Lake Abaya. Dache is a place name, not a language. Dialects: Gamo (Gemu), Gofa (Goffa), Dawro (Dauro, Kullo, Cullo, Ometay). Subdialects of Dawro are Konta (Conta) and Kucha (Kusha, Koysha). Gamo has 79% to 91% lexical similarity with Gofa, 79% to 89% with Wolaytta, 82% to 87% with Dorze, 73% to 80% with Dawro, 49% with Koorete, 44% with Male. Dawro has 76% with Gofa, 80% with Wolaytta, 73% to 75% with Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Ganza
[gza] 5,400 (2004). Ethnic population: 6,291 (2000 WCD). Western Oromo, near the Blue Nile.Alternate names: Ganzo, Koma.  Dialects: Related to Hozo-Sezo (Ruhlen 1987.322). Lexical similarity 14% with Omotic languages, 6% with Mao.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Gawwada
[gwd] 32,698 (1998 census). 27,477 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 33,971 (1998 census). Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gauwada, Gawata, Kawwad'a, Kawwada.  Dialects:Dihina (Tihina, Tihinte), Gergere (K'ark'arte), Gobeze, Gollango (Kollanko), Gorose (Gorrose, Korrose), Harso (Worase). Lexical similarity 78% with Bussa, 73% with Tsamai, 77% with Harso, 92% with Gollango, 41% with Komso. Harso has 80% with Dobase, 56% with Tsamai. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Gedeo
[drs] 637,082 (1998 census). 438,958 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 639,905 (1998 census). Central highland area, southwest of Dilla and east of Lake Abaya. Alternate names:Geddeo, Deresa, Derasa, Darasa, Derasanya, Darassa.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 60% with Sidamo (closest), 57% with Alaba, 54% with Kambaata, 51% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Gumuz
[guk] 120,424 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 88,192 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 160,424. Ethnic population: 121,487 (1998 census). Near Metemma on Sudan border south through Gondar and Gojjam, along Blue Nile and south into Wellaga and Didessa Valley up to Leqemt-Gimbi Road, and villages southwest of Addis Ababa, around Welqite (possibly 1,000). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Bega-Tse, Sigumza, Gumuzinya, Gumis, Gombo, Mendeya, "Shankillinya", "Shankilligna", "Shanqilla", Debatsa, Debuga, Dehenda, Bega.  Dialects: Guba, Wenbera, Sirba, Agalo, Yaso, Mandura, Dibate, Metemma. There are noticeable dialect differences, and not all dialects are inherently intelligible. Mandura, Dibate, and Metemma form a distinct dialect cluster.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Gumuz  
Hadiyya
[hdy] 923,958 (1998 census). 595,107 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 927,933 (1998 census). Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, between the Omo and Billate rivers, in and around Hosaina town. Alternate names: Adiya, Adiye, Hadiya, Hadya, Adea, Hadia.  Dialects: Leemo, Soro. Lexical similarity 82% with Libido, 56% with Kambaata, 54% with Alaba, 53% with Sidamo. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Hamer-Banna
[amf] 42,838 (1998 census). 38,354 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 42,466 (1998 census). South Omo Region, near the Omo River, and north of Lake Turkana, in the southwest corner, near the Kenya, Uganda, Sudan borders. Alternate names: Hamar-Koke, Hammercoche, Amarcocche, Cocche, Beshada, Hamer, Hammer, Hamar, Amer, Amar, Ammar, Banna, Bana, Kara Kerre.  Dialects: Hamer and Banna are separate ethnic groups who speak virtually the same language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Harari
[har] 21,283 (1998 census). 2,351 monolinguals. 20,000 in Addis Ababa, outside Harar city (Hetzron 1997:486). Ethnic population: 21,757 (1998 census). Homeland Eastern, traditionally within the walled city of Harar. Large communities in Addis Ababa, Nazareth, and Dire Dawa.Alternate names: Hararri, Adare, Adere, Aderinya, Adarinnya, Gey Sinan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Hozo
[hoz] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, Begi area, 50 or more villages. Alternate names:Begi-Mao.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Inor
[ior] 280,000. Population includes 50,000 Endegeny. West Gurage Region, Innemor and Endegeny woredas. Alternate names: Ennemor.  Dialects: Enegegny (Enner). Part of a Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Kachama-Ganjule
[kcx] 4,072 (1998 census). 1,002 monolinguals including 816 Kachama, 186 Ganjule. Population includes 2,682 Kachama,1,390 Ganjule; 419 second-language speakers including 223 Kachama, 196 Ganjule. Ethnic population: 3,886 (1998 census) including 2,740 Kachama, 1,146 Ganjule. Kachama is on Gidicho Island in Lake Abaya. Ganjule originally on a small island in Lake Chamo. Ganjule have recently relocated to Shela-Mela on the west shore of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Gats'ame, Get'eme, Gatame.  Dialects: Ganjule (Ganjawle), Ganta, Kachama. Lexical similarity 46% with Wolaytta.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kacipo-Balesi
[koe] 4,120 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southern Ethiopia-Sudan border, Boma Plateau in Sudan (Kacipo). Dialects: Balesi (Baale, Bale), Zilmamu (Silmamo, Zelmamu, Zulmamu, Tsilmano), Kacipo (Kachepo, Suri, Western Suri).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Kacipo-Balesi  
Kafa
[kbr] 569,626. 445,018 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 599,188 (1998 census). Kafa Region, in and around the town of Bonga. There may be some in Sudan. Alternate names: Kaficho, Kefa, Keffa, Kaffa, Caffino, Manjo.  Dialects: Kafa, Bosha (Garo). Related to Shekkacho. Bosha may be a separate language. Manjo is an argot based on Kafa (Bender 1983). Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Kambaata
[ktb] 606,241 (1998 census). 345,797 monolinguals including 278,567 Kambaata, 51,541 Timbaro, 15,689 Qebena (1998 census). Population includes 487,655 Kambaata, 82,803 Timbaro, 35,783 Qebena. Ethnic population: 621,407 (1998 census). Southwest Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region. Durame is the main town. Alternate names: Kambatta, Kambata, Kembata, Kemata, Kambara, Donga.  Dialects: Tambaro, Timbaro (Timbara, Timbaaro), Qebena (Qabena, Kebena, K'abena). Qebena may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 95% with Timbaro dialect, 81% with Allaaba, 62% with Sidamo, 57% with Libido, 56% with Hadiyya.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Karo
[kxh] 200 (1998 M. Yigezu). South Omo Region, upstream from the Daasanach, riverside settlements near the Hamer-Banna. Alternate names: Kerre, Cherre, Kere.  Dialects: Dialect or closely related language to Hamer-Banna. Lexical similarity 81% with Hamer-Banna. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, South  
Kistane
[gru] 254,682 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 363,867 (1998 census) including 4,000 Gogot. Gurage, Kambaata, Hadiyya Region, just southwest of Addis Ababa. Alternate names:Soddo, Soddo Gurage, North Gurage.  Dialects: Soddo (Aymallal, Aymellel, Kestane, Kistane), Dobi (Dobbi, Gogot, Goggot). Not intelligible with Silte or West Gurage. Dobi speakers' comprehension of Soddo is 76%, and Soddo speakers' comprehension of Dobi is 90%.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Komo
[xom] 1,500 in Ethiopia (1975 Bender). South and west of Kwama. Alternate names: Madiin, Koma, South Koma, Central Koma.  Dialects: Koma of Begi, Koma of Daga.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Komso
[kxc] 149,508 (1998 census). 138,696 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 153,419 (1998 census). South of Lake Ciamo in the bend of the Sagan River. A few migrants in Kenya. Alternate names: Konso, Conso, Gato, Af-Kareti, Karate, Kareti.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 51% with Bussa, 41% with Gawwada, 31% with Tsamai.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Konso-Gidole  
Koorete
[kqy] 103,879. 84,388 monolinguals (1998 census). About 60 Harro families in Harro village on Gidicho (Gidicció) Island. Ethnic population: 107,595 (1998 census). In the Amaro mountains east of Lake Abaya, Sidama Region. Alternate names: Amarro, Amaarro, Badittu, Nuna, Koyra, Koore, Kwera.  Dialects: Lexical similarity 54% with Dorze, 53% with Wolaytta, 52% with Gofa, 49% with Gamo, 48% with Kullo, 45% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  
Kunfal
[xuf] 2,000 (2000 M. Brenzinger). West of Lake Tana. Alternate names: Kunfäl, Kunfel, Kumfel. Dialects: Related to Awngi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Southern  
Kwama
[kmq] 15,000 (1982 SIL). Along Sudan border in southern Beni Shangul Region, from south of Asosa to Gidami, and in Gambela and Bonga. 19 villages, including one (Yabus) in Sudan.Alternate names: Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Koma of Asosa, North Koma, Nokanoka, Afan Mao, Amam, T'wa Kwama.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Kwegu
[xwg] 103 (1998 census). 73 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 173 (1998 census). Kuchur village on the western bank of the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia. Alternate names: Koegu, Kwegi, Bacha, Menja, Nidi.  Dialects: Yidinich (Yidinit, Yidi), Muguji. The dialects listed may not be inherently intelligible with Kwegu; it may be a name for several hunter groups. Lexical similarity 36% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Kwegu  
Libido
[liq] 36,612 (1998 census). 14,623 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 38,096 (1998 census). Hadiyya, Kambaata, Gurage Region, northeast of Hosaina. Alternate names: Maraqo, Marako.  Dialects: Syntactic, morphological, and lexical differences from Hadiyya. Lexical similarity 82% with Hadiyya, 57% with Kambaata, 56% with Allaaba, 53% with Sidamo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Majang
[mpe] 15,341 (1998 census). 10,752 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 15,341 (1998 census). Southwest. Mainly within a long, narrow belt between Bure (east of Gambela) and Guraferda to the south. Covers part of Gambela, Oromo, and Kafa administrative regions. They have been scattered, but are now settling in villages. Alternate names: Mesengo, Masongo, Masango, Majanjiro, Tama, Ojanjur, Ajo, Ato Majang, Ato Majanger-Onk.  Dialects: Minor dialect variation.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, North, Majang  
Male
[mdy] 53,779 (1998 census). 40,660 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 46,458 (1998 census). Omo Region, southeast of Jinka. Dialects: Lexical similarity 48% with Dorze, 46% with Gofa, 45% with Koorete, 44% with Gamo, 43% with Wolaytta and Kullo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo  
Me'en
[mym] 56,585 (1998 census). 51,446 monolinguals including 4,553 Bodi. Population includes 4,570 Bodi. Ethnic population: 57,501 (1998 census) including 4,686 Bodi. Central Kafa Region, the Tishena in and around Bachuma, the Bodi in lowlands to the south, near the Omo River. Not in Sudan. Alternate names: Mekan, Mie'en, Mieken, Meqan, Men.  Dialects: Bodi (Podi), Tishena (Teshina, Teshenna). Tishena is inherently intelligible with Bodi. Close to Mursi. Lexical similarity 65% with Surma, 30% with Murle.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Me'en  
Melo
[mfx] 20,151 (1998 census). 13,264 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 20,189 (1998 census). North Omo Region, in and around Malo-Koza, northeast of the Basketo. Alternate names: Malo.  Dialects:Related to Gamo-Gofa-Dawro, but may not be inherently intelligible. The Language Academy said it should be considered a separate speech variety. Lexical similarity 70% with the majority of Ometo language varieties.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Mesqan
[mvz] 25,000 (2002). West Gurage Region, Mareqo woreda, principle villages: Mikayelo, Mesqan, and Hudat. Alternate names: Masqan, Meskan.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Murle
[mur] 200 in Ethiopia (1975 Tournay). South of the Akobo River. Olam is in southwest Ethiopia and on the Sudan border. It is between Murle and Majang culturally and linguistically (Bender 1983).Alternate names: Murele, Merule, Mourle, Murule, Beir, Ajibba.  Dialects: Olam (Ngalam, Bangalam).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southwest, Didinga-Murle, Murle  
Mursi
[muz] 3,278 (1998 census). 3,155 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,258 (1998 census). Central Omo Region, lowlands southwest of Jinka. Alternate names: Murzi, Murzu, Merdu, Meritu, Dama. Dialects: Close to Suri of Sudan.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Nayi
[noz] 3,656 (1998 census). 1,137 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 4,005 (1998 census). Decha Awraja, Kafa Region, and scattered in other parts of Kafa. The nearest town is Bonga. A few in Dulkuma village of the Shoa Bench Wereda, and Aybera, Kosa, and Jomdos villages of Sheko Wereda. Alternate names: Na'o, Nao.  Dialects: Related to Dizi, Sheko. Lexical similarity 58% with Dizi.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Nuer
[nus] 64,907 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 61,640 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 64,534 (1998 census). Along the Baro River, in Gambela Region. Alternate names: Naath.  Dialects: Eastern Nuer (Ji, Kany, Jikany, Door, Abigar).  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Western, Dinka-Nuer, Nuer  
Nyangatom
[nnj] 14,177 (1998 census). 13,797 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,201 (1998 census). Extreme southwest corner of Ethiopia, Omo Region. Two settlement centers: Omo River and Kibish River. Transhumance into the region of Moru Angipi in Sudan. Alternate names:Inyangatom, Donyiro, Dongiro, Idongiro.  Dialects: Inherently intelligible with Toposa and Turkana. Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Opuuo
[lgn] 301 in Ethiopia. 235 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 307 (1998 census). 5 villages along the Sudan border north of the Anuak and Nuer. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Opo-Shita, Opo, Opuo, Cita, Ciita, Shita, Shiita, Ansita, Kina, Kwina, "Langa".  Dialects: Lexical similarity 24% with Koma.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
[gax] 3,634,000 in Ethiopia. Population total all countries: 3,827,616. South Oromo Region. Also spoken in Kenya, Somalia. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Southern Oromo, "Galla", "Gallinya", "Galligna".  Dialects: Borana (Boran, Borena), Arsi (Arussi, Arusi), Guji (Gujji, Jemjem), Kereyu, Salale (Selale), Gabra (Gabbra, Gebra). Harar is closely related, but distinct enough to need separate literature. In Kenya, Gabra and Sakuye may have significant dialect and language attitude differences from the Boran dialect.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, Eastern
[hae] 4,526,000 (1998 census). Eastern and western Hararghe zone in northern Bale zone.Alternate names: "Qotu" Oromo, Harar, Harer, "Qottu", "Quottu", "Qwottu", "Kwottu", Ittu.  Dialects:Close to Borana Oromo, but divergent.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oromo, West Central
[gaz] 8,920,000 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: All ethnic Oromo are 30,000,000 in Ethiopia. Oromo Region, West and Central Ethiopia, and along the Rift Valley escarpment east of Dessie and Woldiya. Also spoken in Egypt. Alternate names: Afan Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo, "Galla".  Dialects: Western Oromo, Central Oromo. Subdialects are Mecha (Maccha, Wellaga, Wallaga, Wollega), Raya, Wello (Wollo), Tulema (Tulama, Shoa, Shewa). Harar and Boran are different enough to need separate literature.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Oromo  
Oyda
[oyd] 16,597 (1998 census). 6,244 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,075 (1998 census). Northwest Omo Region, southwest of Sawla. Dialects: Lexical similarity 69% with Wolaytta, 61% with Basketo.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Qimant
[ahg] 1,650 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Ethnic population: 172,327 (1998 census). Northwest Amhara Region, north of Lake Tana. Communities of Qwara or Kayla are near Addis Ababa and in Eritrea. None in Sudan. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Kimanteney, Western Agaw. Dialects: Qimant (Kemant, Kimant, Kemanat, Kamant, Chemant, Qemant), Dembiya (Dembya, Dambya), Hwarasa (Qwara, Qwarina, "Kara"), Kayla, Semyen, Achpar, Kwolasa (Kwolacha). Distinct from Awngi, Bilen, and Xamtanga.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Western  
Saho
[ssy] 22,759 in Ethiopia (1998 census). Tigray. Alternate names: Sao, Shaho, Shoho, Shiho. Dialects: Irob.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Saho-Afar  
Sebat Bet Gurage
[sgw] 440,000. Population includes Chaha 130,000, Gura 20,000, Muher 90,000, Gyeto 80,000, Ezha 120,000. West Gurage Region, Chaha is spoken in and around Emdibir, Gura is spoken in and around Gura Megenase and Wirir, Muher is spoken in and around Ch'eza and in the mountains north of Chaha and Ezha, Gyeto is spoken south of Ark'it' in K'abul and K'want'e, Ezha is spoken in Agenna. Alternate names: Central West Gurage, West Gurage, Guragie, Gouraghie, Gurague. Dialects: Chaha (Cheha), Ezha (Eza, Izha), Gumer (Gwemarra), Gura, Gyeto, Muher. A member of the Gurage cluster of languages.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Seze
[sze] 3,000 (1995 SIL). Western Oromo Region, near Begi, north of the Hozo. Alternate names:Sezo.  Dialects: Related to Bambassi (Bender 1975).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Mao, West  
Shabo
[sbf] 400 to 500 (2000 M. Brenzinger). Ethnic population: 600 or more (2000). Kafa Region, between Godere and Mashi, among the Majang and Shekkacho. Alternate names: Shako, "Mekeyer", "Mikeyir", "Mikair".  Dialects: Apparently a hybrid. Distinct from Sheko. Lexical similarity 30% with Majang, 12% with other West Cushitic (Omotic) languages.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Unclassified  
Shekkacho
[moy] 54,894 (1998 census). 36,449 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 53,897 (1998 census). North Kafa Region, in and around Maasha. Alternate names: Mocha, Shakacho, Shekka.  Dialects: Close to Kafa.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gonga, South  
Sheko
[she] 23,785. 13,611 monolinguals (1998 census). Ethnic population: 23,785 (1998 census). Kafa Region, Shako District. Gaizek'a is a monolingual community. Bajek'a, Selale, and Shimi are multilingual. Alternate names: Shekko, Shekka, Tschako, Shako, Shak.  Dialects: Dorsha, Bulla (Daan, Dan, Daanyir).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Dizoid  
Sidamo
[sid] 1,876,329 (1998 census). 1,632,902 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,842,314 (1998 census). South central Ethiopia, northeast of Lake Abaya and southeast of Lake Awasa (Sidamo Awraja). Awasa is the capital of the Sidama Region. Alternate names: Sidámo 'Afó, Sidaminya. Dialects: Lexical similarity 64% with Allaaba, 62% with Kambaata, 53% with Hadiyya. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Highland  
Silt'e
[xst] 827,764 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 900,348 (1998 census). About 150 km south of Addis Ababa. Alternate names: East Gurage, Selti, Silti.  Dialects: Enneqor (Inneqor), Ulbarag (Urbareg), Wolane (Walane). Not intelligible with West or North Gurage. 40% or less intelligible with Chaha (Central West Gurage).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Somali
[som] 3,334,113 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). 2,878,371 monolinguals. Southeast Ethiopia, Somali Region. Alternate names: Standard Somali, Common Somali.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Somali  
Suri
[suq] 19,622 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 19,269 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 20,622. Ethnic population: 19,632 (1998 census). Southwestern Kafa Region toward the Sudan border. Some are west of Mizan Teferi. Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Surma, Shuri, Churi, Dhuri, Shuro, Eastern Suri.  Dialects: Tirma (Tirima, Terema, Terna, Dirma, Cirma, Tirmaga, Tirmagi, Tid), Chai (Cai, Caci). Lexical similarity 81% with Mursi.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Eastern, Surmic, South, Southeast, Pastoral, Suri  
Tigrigna
[tir] 3,224,875 in Ethiopia (1998 census). 2,819,755 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 4,449,875. Ethnic population: 3,284,568 (1998 census). Tigray Province. Also spoken in Eritrea, Germany, Israel. Alternate names: Tigrinya, Tigray.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Tsamai
[tsb] 8,621 (1998 census). 5,298 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 9,702 (1998 census). Omo Region, lowlands west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Ts'amay, S'amai, Tamaha, Tsamako, Tsamakko, Bago S'aamakk-Ulo, Kuile, Kule, Cule.  Dialects: The Tsamai say Gawwada is difficult to understand. Possibly related to Birale. The most aberrant Dullay variety. Lexical similarity 56% to 73% with Gawwada dialects, 61% with Bussa, 31% with Komso.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, East, Dullay  
Turkana
[tuv] 25,163 in Ethiopia (2000 WCD). Southwestern region west of the Omo River. Classification:Nilo-Saharan, Eastern Sudanic, Nilotic, Eastern, Lotuxo-Teso, Teso-Turkana, Turkana  
Uduk
[udu] 20,000 in Ethiopia (1995 W. James). Large refugee camp at Bonga, near Gambela town, Gambela Region. Some still in Sudan (1995). Also spoken in Sudan. Alternate names: Twampa, Kwanim Pa, Burun, Kebeirka, Othan, Korara, Kumus.  Classification: Nilo-Saharan, Komuz, Koman  
Wolaytta
[wal] 1,231,673 (1998 census). 999,694 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 1,269,216 (1998 census). Wolaytta Region, Lake Abaya area. Alternate names: Wellamo, Welamo, Wollamo, Wallamo, Walamo, Ualamo, Uollamo, Wolaitta, Wolaita, Wolayta, Wolataita, Borodda, Uba, Ometo. Dialects: Zala. Dorze, Melo, Oyda may be dialects of Wolaytta or of Gamo-Gofa-Dawro. Lexical similarity 79% to 93% with Gamo, 84% with Gofa, 80% with Kullo and Dorze, 48% with Koorete, 43% with Male.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, Central  
Xamtanga
[xan] 143,369 (1998 census). 93,889 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 158,231 (1998 census). North Amhara Region, Avergele District and Lasta and Waag zones, 100 km north of Weldiya. Alternate names: Khamtanga, Simt'anga, Agawinya, Xamta, Xamir.  Dialects: Low inherent intelligibility of Qemant. Lexical similarity 45% with Qemant.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic, Central, Eastern  
Yemsa
[jnj] 81,613 (1998 census). Ethnic population: 165,184 (1998 census). Oromo Region, recognized as separate district, northeast of Jimma, southwestern Ethiopia, Fofa, and mixed with the Oromo in their villages; Sokoru, Saja, Deedoo, Sak'a, Jimma. Alternate names: Yem, Yemma, "Janjero", "Janjerinya", "Janjor", "Yangaro", "Zinjero".  Dialects: Fuga of Jimma, Toba. Fuga of Jimma may be a separate language. Lexical similarity 24% with Mocha language.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Janjero  
Zay
[zwa] 4,880 (1994 SIL). Ethnic population: 4,880. Shores of Lake Zway and eastern islands in Lake Zway. Alternate names: Zway, Lak'i, Laqi, Gelilla.  Dialects: No dialect variations. Lexical similarity 61% with Harari, 70% with Silte (M. L. Bender 1971).  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Transversal, Harari-East Gurage  
Zayse-Zergulla
[zay] 17,800 (1998 census). 7,530 monolinguals including 7,371 Zayse, 159 Zergulla. Population includes 10,172 Zayse, 7,625 Zergulla. Ethnic population: 11,232 (1998 census) including 10,842 Zayse, 390 Zergulla. Omo Region, west of Lake Chamo. Alternate names: Zaysse.  Dialects:Zergulla (Zergullinya), Zayse. Close to the Gidicho dialect of Koorete.  Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Omotic, North, Gonga-Gimojan, Gimojan, Ometo-Gimira, Ometo, East  

Extinct languages

Gafat

[gft] Extinct. South Blue Nile area. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, n-Group  
Geez
[gez] Extinct. Also spoken in Eritrea. Alternate names: Ancient Ethiopic, Ethiopic, Ge'ez, Giiz. Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, North  
Mesmes
[mys] Extinct. Gurage, Hadiyya, Kambatta Region. Dialects: Related to West Gurage.  Classification:Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, South, Ethiopian, South, Outer, tt-Group  
Rer Bare
[rer] Extinct. Wabi Shebelle River around Gode, eastern Ogaden, near Somali border, and along the Ganale and Dawa rivers. Alternate names: Rerebere, Adona.  Classification: Unclassified  
Weyto
[woy] Extinct. Ethnic population: 1,631 of whom 1,519 (93%) speak Amharic as first language, others speak other first languages. Lake Tana Region. Alternate names: Wayto, Weyt'o.  Dialects:The former language was possibly Eastern Sudanic or an Awngi variety (Bender 1983), or Cushitic (Bender, Bowen, Cooper, and Ferguson 1976:14).  Classification: Unclassified  

Source: Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Texas. SIL International. For further study please consult: http://www.ethnologue.com/.

 

Country Overview

Ethiopia
Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule, one exception being the Italian occupation of 1936-41. In 1974 a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in 1991. A constitution was adopted in 1994 and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A two and a half year border war with Eritrea ended with a peace treaty on 12 December 2000. Final demarcation of the boundary is currently on hold due to Ethiopian objections to an international commission's finding requiring it to surrender sensitive territory.
Location:
Eastern Africa, west of Somalia 

Geographic coordinates:
8 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 1,127,127 sq km 
land: 1,119,683 sq km 
water: 7,444 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,328 km 
border countries: Djibouti 349 km, Eritrea 912 km, Kenya 861 km, Somalia 1,600 km, Sudan 1,606 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
Terrain:
high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Denakil Depression -125 m 
highest point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m
Natural resources:
small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 10.71% 
permanent crops: 0.75% 
other: 88.54% (2001)
Irrigated land:
1,900 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection 
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean
Population:
67,851,281 
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.7% (male 15,189,921; female 15,109,870) 
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 17,857,758; female 17,767,411) 
65 years and over: 2.8% (male 855,103; female 1,071,218) (2004 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.4 years 
male: 17.3 years 
female: 17.4 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.89% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
39.23 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
20.36 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
note: repatriation of Ethiopians who fled to Sudan for refuge from war and famine in earlier years is expected to continue for several years; some Sudanese and Somali refugees, who fled to Ethiopia from the fighting or famine in their own countries, continue to return to their homes (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female 
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female 
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 102.12 deaths/1,000 live births 
male: 112.22 deaths/1,000 live births 
female: 91.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 40.88 years 
male: 40.03 years 
female: 41.75 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.44 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
4.4% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.5 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
120,000 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Ethiopian(s) 
adjective: Ethiopian
Major Ethnic groups:
Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Gurage, Sidamo, Somali, Welayta, and Afar.
Religions:
Christianity, Islam, Traditional beliefs and others
Languages:
Amharic, Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali, Arabic, other local languages, English (major foreign language taught in schools)  To learn more CLICK HERE.
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 42.7% 
male: 50.3% 
female: 35.1% (2003 est.)
Country name:
conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 
conventional short form: Ethiopia 
local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik 
local short form: Ityop'iya 
former (as known by foreiners): Abyssinia, Italian East Africa 
abbreviation: FDRE
Government type:
federal republic
Capital:
Addis Ababa
Administrative divisions:
9 ethnically-based states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples)
Independence:
oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years
National holiday:
Liberation Day (End of four years Italian Occupation), 05 May (1941)
Constitution:
ratified December 1994; effective 22 August 1995
Legal system:
currently transitional mix of national and regional courts
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President GIRMA Woldegiorgis (since 8 October 2001) 
head of government: Prime Minister MELES Zenawi (since NA August 1995) 
cabinet: Council of Ministers as provided for in the December 1994 constitution; ministers are selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives 
elections: president elected by the House of People's Representatives for a six-year term; election last held 8 October 2001 (next to be held NA October 2007); prime minister designated by the party in power following legislative elections 
election results: GIRMA Woldegiorgis elected president; percent of vote by the House of People's Representatives - 100%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation or upper chamber (108 seats; members are chosen by state assemblies to serve five-year terms) and the House of People's Representatives or lower chamber (548 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote from single-member districts to serve five-year terms) 
elections: last held 14 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2005) 
election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - OPDO 177, ANDM 134, TPLF 38, WGGPDO 27, EPRDF 19, SPDO 18, GNDM 15, KSPDO 10, ANDP 8, GPRDF 7, SOPDM 7, BGPDUF 6, BMPDO 5, KAT 4, other regional political groupings 22, independents 8; note - 43 seats unconfirmed 
note: irregularities and violence at some polling stations necessitated the rescheduling of voting in certain constituencies; voting postponed in Somali regional state because of severe drought
Judicial branch:
Federal Supreme Court (the president and vice president of the Federal Supreme Court are recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; for other federal judges, the prime minister submits to the House of People's Representatives for appointment candidates selected by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council)
Political parties and leaders:
Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [leader NA]; Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM [ADDISU Legesse]; Bench Madji People's Democratic Organization or BMPDO [leader NA]; Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Front or BGPDUF [leader NA]; Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [MELES Zenawi] (an alliance of ANDM, OPDO, SEPDF, and TPLF); Gedeyo People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or GPRDF [leader NA]; Gurage Nationalities' Democratic Movement or GNDM [leader NA]; Kafa Shaka People's Democratic Organization or KSPDO [leader NA]; Kembata, Alabaa and Tembaro or KAT [leader NA]; Oromo People's Democratic Organization or OPDO [JUNEDI Sado]; Sidamo People's Democratic Organization or SPDO [leader NA]; South Omo People's Democratic Movement or SOPDM [leader NA]; Tigrayan People's Liberation Front or TPLF [MELES Zenawi]; Walayta, Gamo, Gofa, Dawro, and Konta People's Democratic Organization or WGGPDO [leader NA]; dozens of small parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Union Front or ARDUF [leader NA]; Council of Alternative Forces for Peace and Democracy in Ethiopia or CAFPDE [BEYANE Petros]; Southern Ethiopia People's Democratic Coalition or SEPDC [BEYANE Petros]
International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, ONUB, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador KASSAHUN Ayele 
chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008 
telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200 
FAX: [1] (202) 686-9551 
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles 
consulate(s): New York
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag were so often adopted by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the pan-African colors
Economy - overview:
Ethiopia's poverty-stricken economy is based on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, 60% of exports, and 80% of total employment. The agricultural sector suffers from frequent drought and poor cultivation practices. Coffee is critical to the Ethiopian economy with exports of some $156 million in 2002, but historically low prices have seen many farmers switching to qat to supplement income. The war with Eritrea in 1998-2000 and recurrent drought have buffeted the economy, in particular coffee production. In November 2001 Ethiopia qualified for debt relief from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Under Ethiopia's land tenure system, the government owns all land and provides long-term leases to the tenants; the system continues to hamper growth in the industrial sector as entrepreneurs are unable to use land as collateral for loans. Drought struck again late in 2002, leading to a 2% decline in GDP in 2003. Return to normal weather patterns late in 2003 should help agricultural and GDP growth recover in 2004. The government estimates that annual growth of 7% is needed to reduce poverty.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $46.81 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-3.8% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $700 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 46% 
industry: 12.6% 
services: 41.4% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
17% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
50% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3% 
highest 10%: 33.7% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
40 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
17.8% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
NA (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture and animal husbandry 80%, industry and construction 8%, government and services 12% (1985)
Unemployment rate:
NA (2002)
Budget:
revenues: $1.813 billion 
expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $788 million (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products:
cereals, pulses, coffee, oilseed, sugarcane, potatoes, qat; hides, cattle, sheep, goats
Industries:
food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metals processing, cement
Industrial production growth rate:
6.7% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
1.713 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
1.594 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
23,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
214,000 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
12.46 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-408 million (2003)
Exports:
$537 million f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, qat, gold, leather products, live animals, oilseeds
Exports - partners:
Djibouti 13.4%, Germany 11.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, Japan 6.8%, Italy 6.4%, US 5.1% (2003)
Imports:
$1.964 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
food and live animals, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, machinery, motor vehicles, cereals, textiles
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 24.1%, US 17%, China 6.4%, Italy 4.1% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
$956 million (2003)
Debt - external:
$2.9 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$308 million (FY00/01)
Currency:
birr (ETB)
Currency code:
ETB
Exchange rates:
birr per US dollar - NA (2003), 8.5678 (2002), 8.4575 (2001), 8.2173 (2000), 7.9423 (1999) 
note: since 24 October 2001 exchange rates are determined on a daily basis via interbank transactions regulated by the Central Bank
Fiscal year:
8 July - 7 July
Telephones - main lines in use:
435,000 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
97,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
general assessment: open-wire and microwave radio relay system; adequate for government use 
domestic: open-wire; microwave radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies; two domestic satellites provide the national trunk service 
international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 0, shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
1 plus 24 repeaters (2002)
Internet country code:
.et
Internet hosts:
9 (2003)
Internet users:
75,000 (2003)
Railways:
total: 681 km (Ethiopian segment of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad) 
narrow gauge: 681 km 1.000-m gauge 
note: railway under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia (2003)
Highways:
total: 31,571 km 
paved: 3,789 km 
unpaved: 27,782 km (2000)
Ports and harbors:
none; Ethiopia is landlocked and was by agreement with Eritrea using the ports of Assab and Massawa; since the border dispute with Eritrea flared, Ethiopia has used the port of Djibouti for nearly all of its imports
Merchant marine:
total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 81,933 GRT/101,287 DWT 
by type: cargo 5, container 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2 (2004 est.)
Airports:
82 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 14 
over 3,047 m: 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 69 
over 3,047 m: 
2,438 to 3,047 m: 
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 
914 to 1,523 m: 27 
under 914 m: 23 (2004 est.)
Military branches:
Ethiopian National Defense Force: Ground Forces, Air Force, Mobilized Militia 
note: Ethiopia is landlocked and has no navy; following the secession of Eritrea, Ethiopian naval facilities remained in Eritrean possession
Military manpower - military age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2001)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 15,748,632 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 8,234,442 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 760,868 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $345 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.2% (2003)
Disputes - international:
Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 independent boundary commission's delimitation decision, but demarcation has been delayed, despite intense international intervention, by Ethiopian insistence that the decision ignored "human geography," made technical errors in the delimitation, and incorrectly awarded Badme - the focus of the 1998-2000 war - and other areas to Eritrea and Eritrea's insistence on not deviating from the commission's decision; Ethiopia maintains only an administrative line and no international border with the Oromo region of southern Somalia and maintains alliances with local clans in opposition to the Transitional National Government, which lost its mandate in August 2003, in Mogadishu; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Sudan have been delayed by civil war
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 93,032 (Sudan), 23,578 (Somalia) 
IDPs: 132,000 (border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000 and ethnic clashes in Gambela; most IDPs are in Tigray and Gambela Provinces) (2004)

Source:

Adapted with some changes from the CIA Factbook (Updated on 10 February, 2005).

Rulers and Heads of State

ReignPortraitBirth NameRegnal NameNotes
Ethiopian Empire  (Mängəstä Ityop'p'ya)
Zagwe Dynasty
There is no current consensus on the precise reigns of the rulers of the Zagwe dynasty.
Mara Takla Haymanot
Tatadim
Jan Seyum
Germa Seyum
Yemrehana Krestos
Kedus Harbe
1189 to 1229 Lalibela1.png Gebre Mesqel Lalibela
Na'akueto La'ab
Yetbarak
Mairari
Harbai
Solomonic Dynasty
1270 to 1285 Yekuno Amlak Tasfa Iyasus
1285 to 1294 Yagbe'u Seyon Salomon I
1294 to 1295 Senfa Ared IV
1295 to 1296 Hezba Asgad
1296 to 1297 Qedma Asgad
1297 to 1298 Jin Asgad
1298 to 1299 Saba Asgad
1299 to 1314 Wedem Arad
1314 to 1344 Amda Seyon I Gabra Masqal I
1344 to 1372 Newaya Krestos Sayfa Ar`ed
1372 to 1382 Newaya Maryam Wedem Asfare; or
Gemma Asfare
1382 to 1413 Dawit I
1413 to 1414 Tewodros I Walda Ambasa Ruled 9 months
1414 to 1429 Yeshaq I
(Isaac)
Gabra Masqal II
1429 to 1430 Andreyas
(Andrew)
Ruled 4 or 6 months.
1430 to 1433 Takla Maryam Hezba Nan
1433 Sarwe Iyasus Mehreka Nan
1433 to 1434 Amda Iyasus Badel Nan Ruled 8 months.
1434 to 1468 Zara Yaqob Kuestantinos I
(Constantine I)
Dating becomes certain here
1468 to 1478 Baeda Maryam I
1478 to 1494 Eskender Constantine II
1494 Amda Seyon II Ruled 6 or 7 months.
1494 to 1508 Na'od
1508 to 1540 Lebna Dengel.png Dawit II
(David II)
Lebna Dengel
September 3, 1540 to March 23, 1559 Gelawdewos
(Claudius)
Asnaf Sagad I
1559 to 1563 Menas Admas Sagad I
1563 to 1597 Sarsa Dengel Malak Sagad I
1597 to 1603 Yaqob
(Jacob)
Malak Sagad II
1603 to 1604 Za Dengel Asnaf Sagad II
1604 to 1606 Yaqob
(Jacob)
Malak Sagad II Restored
1606 to 1632 Susenyos Malak Sagad III Crowned on 18 March 1608
1632 to 1667 Fasilides
(Basilides)
`Alam Sagad
1667 to 1682 Yohannes I
(John I)
A'ilaf Sagad
19 July 1682 to 13 October 1706 Iyasu I
(Iyasu the Great)
Adyam Sagad II
1685 Yeshaq Iyasu ? A rebel
27 March 1706 to 30 June 1708 Tekle Haymanot I Le`al Sagad
September 1707 Amda Seyon A rebel
1 July 1708 to 14 October 1711 Tewoflos
(Theophilus)
Walda Ambasa
1709 to July 1710 Nebahne Yohannes A rebel
14 October 1711 to 19 February 1716 Yostos
(Justus)
Sahay Sagad Not of the Solomonic dynasty; overthrew Tewoflos.
8 February 1716 to 18 May 1721 Dawit III Adabar Sagad
18 May 1721 to 1730 Bakaffa Asma Sagad or
Masih Sagad
19 September 1730 to 26 June 1755 Iyasu II
(Joshua II)
`Alem Sagad
1736 to 1737 Hezqeyas A rebel
Zemene Mesafint (Era of the Princes)
26 June 1755 to 7 May 1769 Iyoas I
(Joas)
Adyam Sagad
7 May to 18 October 1769 Yohannes II
(John II)
18 October 1769 to June 1770 Tekle Haymanot II Admas Sagad III
June to December 1770 Susenyos II
18 October 1769 to 13 April 1777 Tekle Haymanot II Admas Sagad III Restored
13 April 1777 to 20 July 1779 Salomon II
(Solomon II)
20 July 1779 to 8 February 1784 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad
16 February 1784 to 24 April 1788 Iyasu III
(Joshua III)
1787 to 1788 Iyasu In opposition to Iyasu III
1787 to 1788 Baeda Maryam In opposition to Iyasu III
February 1788 to 1789 Tekle Haymanot In opposition to Iyasu III
24 April 1788 to 26 July 1789 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad Restored
26 July 1789 to January 1794 Hezqeyas
(Hezekiah)
January 1794 to 15 April 1795 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad Restored
15 April to December 1795 Baeda Maryam II
December 1795 to 20 May 1796 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad Restored
20 May 1796 to 15 July 1797 Salomon III
(Solomon III)
18 August 1797 to 4 January 1798 Yonas
(Jonah)
4 January 1798 to 20 May 1799 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad Restored
20 May 1799 to 15 July 1799 Salomon III
(Solomon III)
Restored
25 July 1799 to 24 March 1800 Demetros
(Demetrius)
24 March to June 1800 Tekle Giyorgis Feqr Sagad Restored
June 1800 to June 1801 Demetros Restored
June 1801 to 3 June 1818 Egwale Seyon Newaya Sagad
19 June 1818 to 3 June 1821 Iyoas II
(Joas II)
3 June 1821 to April 1826 Gigar
April 1826 Baeda Maryam III
April 1826 to 18 June 1830 Gigar Restored
18 June 1830 to 18 March 1832 Iyasu IV
(Joshua IV)
18 March 1832 to 1832 Gebre Krestos
1832 Sahla Dengel
1832 to 8 June 1832 Gebre Krestos Restored
1832 Egwale Anbesa A rebel
October 1832 to 29 August 1840 Sahla Dengel Restored
30 August 1840 to October 1841 Yohannes III
(John III)
October 1841 to 1845 Sahle Dengel Restored
1845 Yohannes III
(John III)
Restored
1845 to 1850 Sahle Dengel Restored
1850 to 1851 Yohannes III
(John III)
Restored
1851 to 11 February 1855 Sahle Dengel Restored
Tewodros Dynasty
9 February 1855 to 13 April 1868 Téwodros II - 2.jpg Kassa Hailu Tewodros II
(Theodore II)
Crowned on 11 February 1855
Zagwe Dynasty
11 June 1868 to 11 July 1871 Wagshum Gobeze Tekle Giyorgis II
Tigray Dynasty
11 July 1871 to 9 March 1889 Yohanes Kassa Mercha Yohannes IV
(John IV)
Crowned on 12 January 1872
Solomonic Dynasty
9 March 1889 to 12 December 1913 Menelik II - 4.jpg Sahle Maryam Menelik II Crowned on 3 November 1889; King of Shewa before becoming Emperor
12 December 1913 to 27 September 1916 Yasu V.jpg Lij Kifle Yaqub Iyasu V
(Joshua V)
Never crowned;deposed by nobles with the sanction of the Church
27 September 1916 to 2 April 1930 Ethiopia empress zauditu.jpg Askala Maryam Zewditu IEmpress
2 April 1930 to 2 May 1936 Selassie Tafari Makonnen Haile Selassie I Crowned on 2 November 1930; exiled by the Italians
  
9 May 1936 to  27 November 1941 Fascist Italian Occupation 
Italian East Africa  (Africa Orientale Italiana)
 
       
ReignPortraitBirth NameRegnal NameNotes
Ethiopian Empire  (Mängəstä Ityop'p'ya)
Solomonic Dynasty
5 May 1941 to 12 September 1974 Selassie Tafari Mekonnen Haile Selassie I Restored; later deposed by the Derg
12 September 1974 to 21 March 1975 Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen.jpg Asfa Wossen Amha Selassie I Designated "King" (not Emperor) by the Derg, did not take throne

Presidents of Ethiopia (1974–present)

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

TenurePortraitIncumbentAffiliationNotes
Derg  (Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army)
12 September 1974 to 17 November 1974 Aman Mikael AndomChairman of the Derg Mil Assassinated
17 November 1974 to 28 November 1974 Mengistu Mengistu Haile MariamChairman of the Derg Mil 1st Term
28 November 1974 to 3 February 1977 Tafari BentiChairman of the Derg Mil Assassinated
3 February 1977 to 11 February 1977 Mengistu Mengistu Haile MariamActing Chairman of the Derg Mil 2nd Term
11 February 1977 to 10 September 1987 Mengistu Haile MariamChairman of the Derg Mil/EWP
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
10 September 1987 to 21 May 1991 Mengistu Mengistu Haile MariamPresident EWP Fled the country at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War
21 May 1991 to 27 May 1991 Tesfaye Gebre KidanActing President EWP
Ethiopia  (Ityop’iya)
27 May 1991 to 28 May 1991 Tesfaye Gebre KidanActing President EWP
28 May 1991 to 22 August 1995 Meles Zenawi  Meles ZenawiInterim President TPLF/EPRDF
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia  (Ityop’iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik)
22 August 1995 to 8 October 2001 Negasso GidadaPresident OPDO/n-p Expelled from OPDO on 22 June 2001
8 October 2001 to Present Girma Woldegorgis Girma Wolde-GiorgisPresident EPRDF Re-elected in 2007

 

Heads of Government of Ethiopia (1909–Present)

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

 

TenurePortraitIncumbentAffiliationNotes
Ethiopian Empire
1909 to 1927 Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis.JPG Fitawrari Habte GiyorgisChief Minister n-p Died in office
1927 to 1 May 1936 Selassie Ras Tafari MakonnenChief Minister n-p From 3 April 1930,Emperor Haile Selassie I
1 May 1936 to 1942 Wolde TzaddickChief Minister n-p In exile from 1936 until 1941 due to the Italian occupation
1942 to 1 November 1957 Ras Betwoded Makonnen EndelkachewPrime Minister n-p
27 November 1957 to 15 December 1960 Ras Abebe AregaiPrime Minister n-p Killed during the 1960 coup attempt
12 December 1960 to 15 December 1960 Ras Leul Imru Haile SelassiePrime Minister n-p In rebellion during the 1960 coup attempt
15 December 1960 to 17 April 1961 Vacant
17 April 1961 to 1 March 1974 Tsehafi Taezaz Aklilu Habte-WoldPrime Minister n-p
1 March 1974 to 22 July 1974 Lij Endelkachew MakonnenPrime Minister n-p
3 August 1974 to 12 September 1974 Mikael Imru, Ambassador of Ethiopia, 1961 (JFKWHP-AR6379-A).jpg Lij Mikael ImruPrime Minister n-p
Derg  (Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army)
12 September 1974 to 10 September 1987 Post abolished
People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
10 September 1987 to 8 November 1989 Fikre Selassie WogderessPrime Minister EWP
8 November 1989 to 26 April 1991 Hailu YimenuActing Prime Minister EWP
26 April 1991 to 27 May 1991 Tesfaye Dinka Tesfaye DinkaActing Prime Minister EWP
Ethiopia  (Ityop’iya)
27 May 1991 to 6 June 1991 Tesfaye Dinka Tesfaye DinkaActing Prime Minister EWP
6 June 1991 to 22 August 1995 Tamrat Layne Tamirat Layneacting Prime Minister EPDM
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia  (Ityop’iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik)

23 August 1995 to 20 August 2012

 (Died in office)

Meles Zenawi  Meles ZenawiPrime Minister TPLF/EPRDF
20 August 2012 to present Haile Mariam Desalegne, Acting Prime Minister SEPDM/EPRDF

Flags of Ethiopia

The flag of Ethiopia consists of three equal horizontal stripes - the top stripe is green; the middle is yellow; and the bottom stripe is red. Green symbolizes the land and its fertility, yellow for peace and harmony between Ethiopia’s various ethnic and religious groups and  red represents power or African blood spilled in defence of the land. In the middle of the flag is the country's coat of arms and it is often seen without the emblem. 

Ethiopia is credited with establishing the green, yellow and red colors that have come to symbolize African independence and unity. Ethiopia is the oldest independent African state. The colors became known as Pan African colors. Sometimes black is added to these colors to represent the African people.  

 

Historical flags

et 1881

(1881 - 6 Oct 1897)

et-rev

(6 Oct 1897 -  9 May 1936)

et-licr

(5 May 1941 - 21 Mar 1974)

et1974(21 Mar 1974 - 12 Sep 1975)
et-plain 1975
(From 22 Sep 1975 Unofficial Flag) 
et 1975
 (12 Sep 1975 - 12 Sep 1987)
et 1987 
(12 Sep 1987 - 28 May 1991)
et 1996 
(6 Feb 1996 - Present)

 

Colors

The flag's tri-color (green, yellow and red) scheme has existed for several centuries. Generally, red represents blood spilled in defence of Ethiopia; yellow represents peace and harmony between Ethiopia's various ethnic and religious groups; and green symbolize hope, or the land and its fertility. In 1897, a year after Ethiopia decisively defended itself from colonial Italy at the Battle of Adwa, the red, green and yellow were used for the flag of the Empire.    

The royal flag often featured the emblem of a Lion of Judah, a crowned lion carrying a cross centred in the banner's yellow mid-section. The flag is understood to be a link between the Ethiopian church, the peoples, and the nation that was united. The processional cross carried by the lion was the former "flag" or symbol of Ethiopia, and has been in use since at least the early 17th century, as well. Whilst red is currently featured at the bottom of the horizontal tricolour, this was reversed until the mid-19th century.  Upon gaining independence from colonial rule, several newly-established countries in Africa adopted these three colours in homage to Ethiopia's resistance against foreign occupation. When adopted by Pan-Africanist polities and organizations for their activities, the colours are often referred to as the Pan-African colors.

 


Emblem

The 'plain' flag is commonly seen across the nation and the world. During the Derg regime a number of different emblems were experimented with. However, the basic colour schematic has remained constant, but the imperial emblem was removed after Haile Selassie's overthrow. A five pointed star and rays over a cogwheel surrounded by a wreath of leaves was the featured emblem.

The star is yellow on a blue disc which overlaps the green and red stripes. The star testifies to Ethiopia's bright future and possibly echoes the connection with the House of King Solomon, while the yellow rays which it emits are equidistant and are said to represent the equality of all Ethiopians regardless of race, creed, or sex.

 


Coat of Arms

etiopimpst1
etiopst2 (1975-1987) etiopst1  125px-Coat of arms of Ethiopia 
the Empire the Derg the PDRE the FDRE

Contemporary Politics

The Ethiopian polity has maintained a historical continuity of thousands of years of existence. However, the modern Ethiopian state took shape since the mid of the nineteenth century and was eventually centralized with advent of emergent modern apparatuses of governance under a formalized monarchial rule of Emperor Haile Selassie.

etioleo1Many of the current political discourses and contentions about the fate of Ethiopia’s statehood and polarized political conflicts among various protagonists in today’s Ethiopia trace their origins to the complex political events of modern state formation. The competing attempts to redefine the state and the underlying interpretations of the political processes based on issues like cultural or ethnonational conflicts, territorial claims, and economic alienation and political exclusion are indicative of the implicit conception that since its emergence the contemporary state and politics of Ethiopia has been in persistent crisis. The country was substantially a traditional agrarian society with major economic resources especially land controlled by monarchy and the nobility.

Notions of citizens’ liberty, freedom and human rights were not even conceived in issues of politics and governance. All citizens were considered subjects of the Emperor, who assumed the role of the ultimate sovereign. Political opposition and descent were not to be contemplated as Ethiopian political culture primarily dominated by submission and loyalty to the ruler whether the emperor or the immediate local ruler holding power. However, Haile Selassie’s imperial autocracy came under mounting pressures from both emerging educated elements and rural groups seeking political changes and end to economic hardships. The social pressures eventually culminated in the revolution of 1974 that led to the overthrow of Haile Selassie’s monarchial rule.

A military junta, that came to be known as the Derg, unleashed a coup in the midst of revolutionary turmoil and established a praetorian rule that soon adopted a socialist ideology of the Marxist-Leninist brand with allegiance to the Soviet communist bloc. The regime initially introduced a series of radical political changes some of which were considered progressive such as nationalization of land to win support of the large mass of landless rural communities. Nevertheless, with its communist-style coercive measures and unpopular policies, it lost any semblance of support from significant portions of both the rural and urban communities.

The marking feature of the Derg regime was its blatant disregard of basic human rights and civil liberties. The infamous period of what came to be known as the Red Terror has witnessed massive extra judicial executions and violent obliteration of all political descent and opposition groups. In a totalitarian style, only the regime’s own Worker’s Party of Ethiopia was officially allowed to organize. Gradually, the regime fell under a personal dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Ethiopia’s economy dipped into the bottom low; massive famines afflicted millions in the 1980s; and the regime was entangled itself in a protracted civil war with insurgent movements. It was severely weakened by the combined onslaught of insurgency uprisings by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and the Tigrayn People’s Liberation Front as well as spreading of nationalist insurgencies elsewhere by other groups such as Oromo Liberation Front.

et 1975Insurgent rebels controlled a large part of the northern part of country and formed the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which is essentially controlled by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front as its core. In 1991, as Mengistu Haile Mariam fled to his exile to Harare, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front took control of the capital city Addis Ababa, while the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front assumed control of Eritrea’s capital Asmara thereby forming a de facto independence of Eritrea as a new state.

The EPRDF formed a transitional authority in which political movements such as the Oromo Liberation Front and various other ethnic political organizations were invited to be represented. EPRDF’s Chairman Meles Zenawi became the nation’s President. The new regime promised a political priority of peace and stability; declared Ethiopia’s adoption of the Universal Principles of Human Rights.

In 1992, the first local and regional elections were held but only the EPRDF and its affiliated parties took part and claimed victory. Other opposition parties including the OLF boycotted the elections, accusing the regime of conducting harassment, mistreatments and denying access to political campaigning. Opposition groups were forced out of the government. 

In the mean time, the EPRDF introduced a federal form of government based on ethnic, linguistic and cultural patterns originally with 14 regions. The EPRDF introduced a Federal Constitution in 1994 that was ratified in 1995 declaring the country as a Federal Democratic Republic. The federation comprised of 9 states and 2 Chartered cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa directly under the federal government and more precisely under the Prime Minister of the government, based on the new constitution wields most effective political power. The President of the Federal Republic was allotted largely ceremonial and nominal powers.

et 1987

Each of the regional states of the federation has replicate legislative, executive and judicial organs with their own constitutions and flags. The federal practice appeared to have made a clear departure of moving towards devolution of power to the regional powers and more precisely devolution power to ethnic and nationality groups. Political decentralization, however, has not been accompanied with commensurate economic and administrative decentralization, and at best the devolution seems to be manifest in form rather than content. The federal authority continues to exercise effective control of the affairs of regional states through a unified party structure and the principle of “democratic centralism” founded in its “revolutionary democracy” variant of a communist ideology remnant.

In form, the regional officials and administrators derive from local ethnic groups, but in doing so, the regime tends to recruit a local based elite group based on patrimonial relationships of informal micromanaging of political and economic favors in exchange to loyalty to the center or as it has increasingly been evident loyalty to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The recent factional break up of the TPLF and EPRDF has shown that Regional State officials who descanted from the Prime Minister’s position were summarily dismissed from their respective positions and even some have been incarcerated. The continuity of the traditional political culture of submission and loyalty to the power wielder lest should face the wrath of the ruler remains strikingly apparent in the modern Federal republic.

In theory, the highest political power is vested in the legislative chamber referred to as the House of Peoples Representatives whose members are to be elected for a five-year term in a simple-majority (first past the post) ballot. The second legislative chamber of theHouse of Federation was to be comprised based on representations from regional assemblies and minority groups with limited authority of overseeing distribution of budgetary allocation between federal regions and constitutional matters. In practice, so far, however, since both Houses were absolutely dominated until the recent May 2005 elections, the legislative organs merely served as the rubber stamp of the Executive branch. In effect, this meant that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the TPLF/EPLF leaders who have remained loyal to him completely controlled the parliament to the extent of twisting the House members to pass any legislation at instant command.

Although the introduction of electoral politics and constitutional recognition of the right to assembly, association and free expression was a marked improvement to the past, in the practical exercise these changes merely appear to be cosmetic. While Private Press has been allowed and flourished since early on, the government tended to impose various legal measures and excuses to clump down on newspaper editors and owners at various occasion of critical reporting perceived to be damaging to government positions. Similarly, political assemblies such as public rallies or demonstrations can be allowed when the government is comfortable of their potential impact but may be denied if they may be seen as opposed to the government’s policies and measures. Even then, both distribution of private newspapers and occasions of protest rallies are mainly limited to the capital city and a few urban centers; and almost rarely allowed in the vast rural areas.

et 1996Political opposition parties have emerged in numerous numbers with varying national and regional platforms. However, in all of the elections so far, the government has been quite reluctant to view the opposition to operate and mobilize freely in relatively similar manner as the ruling party organizes. Prime Minister Zenawi’s regime frequently professed to allow the opposition parties with viable political alternatives to take part in the elections. Opposition parties in the successive elections of 1995 and 2000 barely managed to win a dozen of seats. Reports of past election observers indicated frequent cases of electoral fraud, harassment, detention of candidates, even killings of voters and candidates in some cases as serious problems that cause difficulty to accept these elections as free and fair in spite of being conducted more effectively and peacefully. Thus, the EPRDF tends to maintain presence of opposition parties and a semblance of multi party elections to provide a façade of a democratic multiparty election in the eye of the international donor community and to perpetuate its hold of power indefinitely.

In the run up for the May 2005 elections, the government of Meles Zenawi under donors’ pressure has allowed opposition parties to freely campaign and mobilize support undermining the divisive nature of opposition parties and lack of a coherent political strategy coalescing and consistency in the previous elections. However, the opposition parties were better prepared forming two broad coalitions under the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), along with other opposition parties. The opposition parties succeeded in effectively mobilizing various groups of society that were dissatisfied with abysmal failure of Zenawi’s government to deliver the promise of generating sufficient economic changes and political reforms after more than a decade of staying in power.

In particular, his regime’s total neglect of the urban areas and various rural communities by constricting of labor mobility, factors of production, and trade while pursuing a misguided policy of “Agriculture-Development-Led-Industrialization” has produced broadening discontent within the society. The government’s irresponsible neglect of fast spreading HIV/AIDS pandemic, widening impoverishment, annually recurrent famines and food shortages, and irresponsible and poor handling of border conflict with Eritrea and its legal ramifications have turned the Meles Zenawi’s TPLF/EPRDF a highly unpopular regime in the eye of the ordinary urban and rural Ethiopian voters. However, the EPRDF fatally miscalculated that the opposition would provide any formidable challenge and least any viable alternative.

The dynamics of the elections dramatically shifted when international observers were allowed to monitor and opposition and government candidates conducted campaign debates that were aired live. The opposition parties not only seized the opportunity to access wider constituencies but they also managed to present more attractive policy options incorporated in comprehensive political programs. As the election results indicated, almost majority of urban centers with few exceptions and a substantial portion of rural constituencies were predisposed to support the leading opposition party of CUD followed by UEDF. The government’s resort to resolve the conflict through accentuating the electoral dispute into a non-cooperative game of political conflict rather than pursuing a more peaceful cooperative solution indicates the regime’s willingness modify rules of the electoral game to maximize its possibility of staying in power at the expense defiling the set constitutional principles.

In political conflict of the aftermath of the elections, the government showed a relentless willingness to use violence and carry out widespread abuse of human rights against civilians in what appears to be a punitive pay back for their electoral punishment in the capital city. The leaders of the main opposition party and thousands of its supporters have been detained in mass; several including children, women and elderly wounded and killed at times in styles of extra judicial executions. President Meles Zenawi’s reputation unraveled from a poster-boy status of Western donors praised as one of “Africa’s New Leaders” to that of joining the ranks of banal autocratic tyrants of Africa. However, more damaging to his political longevity is the persistent inability to misunderstand expectations of statesmanship from Ethiopians.

It should be also mentioned that neither the opposition nor the government tended to mutually trust one another. The source of absence of mutual trust is the total failure of institutionalizing the rule of the electoral game, in this case encompassing the electoral law, the Electoral Board of Ethiopia, and the independence of the judiciary, into viable and nonpartisan political institutions capable of managing such legal-political conflicts during more than fourteen years of existence. This central problem of failure of institutionalizing the rule of the law in Ethiopia today continues to cast a serious doubt on Ethiopia’s potentials of democratization in the foreseeable future. 
The absence of institutionalized legal constraint has encouraged the Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s regime to disregard or openly renege from issues of commitment both political and legal. Conversely, it may be argued that the regime strategically chooses not to institutionalize the rule of law and institutional constraints on political authority for the precise reason of disregarding its legal and political commitments. However, this only helped to increasingly erode the already tarnished credibility of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his regime among the domestic and international publics.

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