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).The northernmost region of Ethiopia, which borders on Eritrea and Sudan. The autonomous status was ensured by the 1994 Constitution.
The titular ethnic group of the region is the Tigrayans, who are considered to be the founder of the Axumite Kingdom (existing in the I millennium AD), one of the first states in the world to adopt Christianity. Later, its lands entered the Ethiopian Empire, but Tigrayans along with Amhara can be considered as the state forming ethnic groups of Ethiopia. After the arrival of the Derg regime in power in 1974, the relations between Tigrayans and central government sharply deteriorated. Later the Tigray People's Liberation Front became the main military force in the EPRDF, and then the main party of the ruling alliance.
Tigrayans live in the north of the country and constitute the overwhelming majority of the population (about 97%) in their autonomy. Tigrayans are adherents of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and speak the language of Tigrinya (refers to the Semitic branch of the Afrasian languages). As a consequence, they have rather complicated relations with Afars, Oromo and Somalis. Moreover, Amhara, which are close in cultural and religious terms toTigrayans, are also cause distrust among Tigrayan people because of their history (the period of Derg domination).