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, bordered by South Sudan. The autonomous status was ensured by the 1994 Constitution.
Along with three other regions of the valley (Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar and Somalia) is recognized as the least socially-economically developed region, which accounts for the largest number of federal grants and subsidies.
Gambela is a region created for the Nilotic peoples. The biggest ethnic groups of them are Nuer, Agnuak, Mezhenger, Apana and Komo. In total, they account for more than 70% of the region's population. In the south-west, the indigenous people of Majang live in the rainforests. This group is allocated a separate administrative zone - Majang Nationality Zone (MNZ), which in turn is divided into two districts.
Unlike the dominant ethnic groups of Ethiopia (Amhara, Tigrayans), the Nilotic peoples speak the languages of the Nilo-Saharan family (while the languages of the Amhara and Tigrayans are linked to the Semitic languages). The Nilotic peoples mainly adhere to the different branches of Christianity.
The Gambela Peoples’ Democratic Movement is part of the ruling alliance of RDFEN. The ethnopolitical situation in the region is relatively stable. The largest ethnic conflict in the region recorded was between the ethnic groups Agnuak and Nuer in the early 2000s.