One of the nine ethnic regions of the country. It was established in 1994 after the overthrow of the military regime of the Derg and the coming to power of the EPRDF (The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front). It is located in the western part of Ethiopia, bordering Sudan and South Sudan. The autonomous status was ensured by the 1994 Constitution.
Along with three other regions (Gambela, Afar and Somalia) is recognized as the least socially-economically developed region, which accounts for the largest number of federal grants and subsidies.
The titular ethnic groups of the autonomy are Berta and Gumuz. They have more in common with the peoples of the Sudan and South Sudan than with any group residing in Ethiopia. Unlike the dominant ethnic groups of Ethiopia (Amhara, Tigrayans), they speak languages of the Nilo-Saharan family (while the languages of the Amhara and Tigrayans are linked to the Semitic languages). Some of the population of the region professes Christianity or Islam, others still adhere to traditional beliefs. Berta and Gumuz make up about half of the population of the region.
The Benishangul Gumuz People’s Democratic Unity Front is part of the ruling alliance of EPRDF. The ethnopolitical situation in the region is relatively stable.