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Gambella (Ethiopia)

Gambella National Regional State

Last modified: 2008-09-06 by
Keywords: gambella | ethiopia |
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[Flag of Gambella] (1) image by Jorge Candeias, 16 December 1999

[Flag of Gambella] (2) image by Željko Heimer, 18 June 2002

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Presentation of Gambella

According to the Ethiopian Parliament site, the state of the Gambella Peoples is "located in the western tip of Ethiopia bordering with the Sudan in the west, south, and north, the State of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples in the south and east; and with the State of Oromiya in the north and east." It "is composed of two administrative zones and eight woredas" and "the area of the State is estimated at 25,274 square kilometers (not including a woreda recently integrated in to the region)". So it is a pretty small state at the ethiopian scale. The capital is Gambella.
A vist to the atlas showed me that Gambella is a relatively unimportant city by the Baro river in the western portion of the old province of Ilubabor, only about 20 km to the south of the border with the old province of Welega.
Despite being a small state, Gambella is quite diverse, ethnically, and the population estimated in only 181,862 inhabitants (in 94) includes many ethnic groups. As they put it, "the main nationalities of the State are Nuer, Agnuak, Mezhenger, Apana and Komo. Moreover, the Oromo, Amhara, Kembta, Keffa, Tigray and other nations and nationalities live in the State. Of the total ethnic composition the Nuer consists 40%, the Agnuak 27%, Amhara 8%, Oromo 6%, Mezhenger 5.8%, Keffa 4.1%, Mocha 2%, Tigraway [Tigray?] 1.6% and other ethnic groups predominantly from Southern Ethiopia 5.5%".
Jorge Candeias, 15 December 1999

Flag of Gambella

Four horizontal stripes of black, green, white and red with a black 5-pointed star in the center of the white stripe (1). It has possibly a simbolism related with the state's diversity, but I can't help noticing that the very same colours appear in the flag of nearby Sudan. Which is even more curious when according to the site of the Ethiopian Parliament, muslims are only 5% of the state's population...
Jorge Candeias, 15 December 1999

An Ethiopian stamp series Auf 2000 (here) shows the state flag of Gambella the other way around, red strip on top, but star pointing upwards (2). I "feel" it looks more likely.
Dr. Andreas Birken, 1 May 2002