The Somali Regional State (Dawlada Deegaanka Soomaalida, الدولة المنطقة الصومالية), is the largest and easternmost of the nine ethnic divisions (kilimo) of Ethiopia. The state borders the Ethiopian states of Afar, the chartered city Dire Dawa (Dir Dhaba), Oromia to the west, as well as Djibouti to the north, Somalia to the north, east, and south, and Kenya to the south-west.
Jijiga is the capital of the Somali Regional State. The capital was formerly Gode, until Jijiga became the capital in 1995 on account of political considerations. Other major towns and cities include: Kebri Dahar, Baabili, Degehabur, Barey, Fiiq, Kelafo, Shilavo, Kebri Beyah, Werder, Shekosh, Tuli Gulled, Nusdariq, aw Barre.
The Somali State covers much of the traditional territory of Ogaden and it formed a large part of the pre-1995 province of Hararghe. The population is predominantly Somali, and there have been attempts to incorporate the area into a Greater Somalia. In the 1970s, Somalia, supported by the United States, invaded Ethiopia, igniting the Ogaden War, which Somalia lost due to timely military intervention from the Soviet Union and its ally Cuba. Despite this defeat, local groups still tried either to become part of Somalia or independent.
The 2007 Abole oil field raid, in which 72 Chinese and Ethiopian oilfield workers were killed, has led to a series of military reprisals against the rebel group ONLF Ogaden National Liberation Front.
Until its first-ever district elections in February 2004, Zonal and woreda administrators, and village chairmen were appointed by the Regional government. Senior politicians at the Regional level nominated their clients to the local government positions. In the 2004 local elections, each woreda elected a council including a spokesman, vice-spokesman, administrator, and vice-administrator. These councils have the responsibility of managing budgets and development activities within their respective districts.