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The History of a Strategic Town in the Horn of Africa
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This book presents the history of Jijiga, a town of great strategic, commercial, political, and military significance in the Horn of Africa. The town’s history is associated immensely with the attempts of the Ethiopian government to establish a solid frontier base in the course of the incorporation of the Ogaden in 1891 and later in the process of maintaining a strong posture in the region. Its naming by the local Somalis as Laa, the shining spot, indicates that it was one of the earliest modern urban formations in the Ogaden. The book mirrors the political vicissitudes of the Horn of Africa through the prism of the social and political history of Jijiga by highlighting major events such as the fluid but momentous period of Lij Iyasu, the Ethio-Somali war of 1963, and that of 1977 with regional and international ramifications.
The book presents fresh insights into the study of center-periphery relations.
Telling of the various components of Jijiga’s history expands our understanding of frontier history. The story of Jijiga is also a narrative of how people of diverse origins and ethnic groups built a corporal urban megala culture that lent its inhabitants a distinctively Jijigan identity. By highlighting this aspect of its history, the book presents a nuanced discourse of ethnicity in the Horn of Africa. Jijiga’s unique place in the Horn of Africa offers multiple opportunities to foray into the fields of social, political, and military history. Consequently, it is an undertaking that incorporates several dimensions of interrelated phenomena within the broader compass of the history of the Ogaden and the wider environs.
List of Tables And Maps
Chapter 1 General Backgrownd
Chapter 2 Jijiga: Foundation And Growth (1891 – 1918)
Chapter 3 Jijiga: From the Period of Takla Hãwãryãt Up to the Italian Conquest (1917-1936)
Chapter 4 Jijiga: Under Foreign Occupation (1936-1948)
Chapter 5 Jijiga Between 1948 – 1974
Chapter 6 The Evolution And Growth Of Urban Institutions And Services In Jijiga
Chapter 7 The Municipality of Jijiga
Chapter 8 The Embattled Town: Jijiga and the Socio-Political Fall Outs of the Ogaden War of 1977
“In his slim, but highly informative and often insightful monograph, Tibebe has offered a vivid portrait of Jijiga's evolution from a dusty garrison village to today's modern capital city of the Somali State (Zone Five). Written with remarkable economy and clarity, this pioneering work in urbanization/urbanism sheds considerable light on the social and political history of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa at large.”
--Gebru Tareke, Ph.D., Author of Ethiopian Revolution
"Tibebe Eshete deftly explores various aspects of Jijiga’s past, linking local developments to regional, national, and international events. This study––the first scholarly monograph on Jijiga––is particularly welcome because the town is Ethiopia’s most important administrative and military center in the east, long an economically and strategically significant yet volatile region."
--Tim Carmichael, Ph.D., Associate Professor at College of Charleston
“By combining written and oral sources, Tibebe has successfully reconstructed the history of the frontier town of Jijiga. A precious addition to a very small corpus of works on urban studies in Ethiopia, this book will remain a reference work for long.”
--Shiferaw Bekele, Professor of History at Addis Ababa University
Tibebe Eshete, Ph.D. is a visiting Professor teaching African History and African Religions at Michigan State University. He has taught African History, World History, and US History at Missouri State University, Calvin College, and Cornerstone University. He also taught history at Asmara University and Addis Ababa University. He served as a research coordinator for World Vision Int/Ethiopia.� He has published extensively on the Horn of Africa, particularly on Ethio-Somali relations. His recent research publications concentrate on religion and politics and socio-cultural studies pertaining to Ethiopia. His books include The Silent Revolution: The Role of Community Development in Reducing the Demand for Small Arms(2000) and the Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia: Resistance and Resilience (2009), considered by scholars as groundbreaking.
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