Do Oromo or Amhara own Addis Ababa?

Ethiopia: Do Oromo or Amhara own Addis Ababa?

The recent controversy on the expansion of Addis Ababa city raised new questions about which Ethiopian ethnic group is native or original to Addis Ababa in particular and the Shewa region in general.

The referenced summary of Shewa history below shows that the SOMALILAND Empire of ADAL briefly occupied the Shewa region in 1530s. (Read Abyssinia-Adal war)

The most surprising finding was how the history of Shewa came at crossroads during this ADAL occupation. Before Adal occupation, the shawa region was actually the southern part of the Aksum and Amhara (Abyssinian) empire. But after Adal occupation ended, the history of Shewa suddenly became dominated by Oromo settlement.

According to the Oromo historian Dr. Mohammed Hassen, the 1500s war between Amharas (abyssinia/aksum) and Somalis (Adal) weakened both sides, and this gave Oromos a big opportunity to settle in Shewa.
So whose land is it ?

Oromoprotest supporters say that Amharas & Tigray are foreign enemies who took Oromo land. But If we use the same reasoning used by the Jews when they retook Israel from Palestines using the antiquity theory, then Amharas can claim past dominion of Shewa as well.

For now, Shewa belongs to the Oromo people today because even if Oromos are minority in Addis Ababa, they are majority in Shewa.


Shewa first appears in the historical record as a Muslim state, which G.W.B. Huntingford believed was founded in 896, and had its capital at Walalah.[1] It is believed to have been part of the Ethiopian Aksum kingdom for over a millennium before falling to Muslim neighbors.[2] This state was absorbed by the Sultanate of Ifat around 1285. Recently,three urban centers thought to be part of the Islamic kingdom of Shewa were discovered by a group of French archaeologists.

Yekuno Amlak based his uprising against the Zagwe dynasty from an enclave in Shewa that was settled by Amhara Christians.


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