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Hargehsan is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Coordinates: 9°30′N 42°42′E / 9.500°N 42.700°E / 9.500; 42.700Coordinates: 9°30′N 42°42′E / 9.500°N 42.700°E / 9.500; 42.700
Country Ethiopia
Region Oromia
Zone Misraq Hararghe
Elevation 1,816 m (5,958 ft)
Population (2007)
 • Total 12,261
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Chinhahsan (also transliterated Chinaksen; Somali: Jinacsani) is a city in eastern Ethiopia. Located in the Misraq Hararghe Zone of the Oromia Region, this city has a latitude and longitude of 9°30′N 42°42′E / 9.500°N 42.700°E / 9.500; 42.700 with an elevation of 1816 meters above sea level.

Chinhahsan is a settlement with stone walls built at the foot of an oval hill; on the hill are ruins of fortifications possibly of Abyssinian origins. This is one of several places where local tradition claims that Imam Ahmed Gragn was born of a Christian priest and a Moslem woman. About half a kilometer away are the remains of an ancient ketema or fortified enclosure named Derbiga, which different legends state was built either by a giant named Arla or by the Ethiopian Emperor Zara Yaqob.[1] Huntingford speculates that Chinhahsan is the modern name for Dakkar, one of the capitals of the Adal Sultanate.[2]

The writer Nega Mezlekia, an Amhara from Jijiga who had joined the Western Somali Liberation Movement, relates how he participated in an attack on a Derg military training camp in Chinhahsan. No prisoners were taken in the attack; those who surrendered were shot dead.[1] Early in the Ogaden War, Chinhahsan was captured by Somali units as they advanced on Dire Dawa; it was recaptured by Ethiopian units between 5 and 9 February 1978.[3]

In late January 2009, the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation completed a 27-km electric power line 27 kilometers in length from Jijiga to Chinhahsan, while constructing six power distributors in the town. This provided 24-hour electric service to Chinhahsan for the first time.[4]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Chinhahsan has an estimated total population of 11,558 of whom 5,981 are men and 5,577 are women.[5] According to the 1994 national census this city had a population of 56,821 people. This town is one of the two largest settlements in Jijiga woreda.

The 1997 census reported this town had a total population of 7,753 of whom 3,951 were men and 3,802 women. The three largest ethnic groups reported in this town were the Oromo (64.72%), Somali (20.59%), and the Amhara (10.8%); all other ethnic groups made up the remaining 3.89% of the residents.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Local History in Ethiopia" The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 1 March 2009)
  2. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, Historical Geography of Ethiopia from the first century AD to 1704 (London: British Academy, 1989),p. 87
  3. ^ Gebru Tareke, "The Ethiopia-Somalia War of 1977 Revisited," International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2000 (33), p. 658
  4. ^ "Chinakson Town gets 24 hr electric power service", Ethiopian News Agency, 29 January 2009 (accessed 28 May 2009)
  5. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4
  6. ^ 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Somali Region, Vol. 1 Tables 2.4, 2.13 (accessed 10 January 2009). The results of the 1994 census in the Somali Region were not satisfactory, so the census was repeated in 1997.