Mendi, Ethiopia

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Mendi is a town in western Ethiopia. Located in the Mirab Welega Zone of the Oromia Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of 9°48′N 35°6′E / 9.800°N 35.100°E / 9.800; 35.100Coordinates: 9°48′N 35°6′E / 9.800°N 35.100°E / 9.800; 35.100 and an elevation of 1538 meters above sea level. It is the administrative center of Mana Sibu woreda.

Mendi hosts an airport (ICAO HAMN, IATA NDM), with an unpaved runway 1250 meters in length.[1] Upgrading and rehabilitating the 131 kilometers of the all-weather gravel road connecting Mendi with Nejo was completed in January 2009, while the road connecting Mendi to Asosa was still being improved.[2]


Dejazmach Gebre Egziabher constructed a church in Mendi in 1893.[1] However, when the Dejazmach regained his rights to levy taxes over his father's former kingdom in 1907, the central government excepted the "gate" of Mendi, which was retained to the customs office in Nekemte. "This sealed the right of the centre to fiscal control over Nekemte, a right that Addis Abeba was never to abandon in the years to come."[3]

By the 1930s, Mendi had become an important market of coffee. It attracted the attention of a Swedish pastor who established a mission there. The missionaries were accused of wrongdoing by the local Ethiopian priest to the Italians in 1938, who eventually expelled them; the Swedish mission was not revived until 1946. Mendi hosted a conference of Ethiopian Evangelical Churches in January 1954; the mission had to confront Muslim missionaries from Sudan in the next year, who converted 1000 people in a neighboring locale.[1]

John Young believes that "at least a small contingent of the OLF is able to operate in the Mendi area ... on a semi-permanent basis" since the 2005 Ethiopian general election.[4]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Mendi has an estimated total population of 18,020 of whom 9,199 are men and 8,821 are women.[5] The 1994 census reported this town had a total population of 10,070 of whom 4,989 were males and 5,081 were females.


  1. ^ a b c "Local History in Ethiopia" The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 20 November 2007)
  2. ^ "Nekempt-Mokenajo 127-Km asphalt road construction finalized: ERA, Ethiopian News Agency, 11 January 2009 (accessed 28 May 2009)
  3. ^ Donald L. Donham and Wendy James (ed.), The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia (Oxford: James Currey, 2002), p. 63
  4. ^ John Young, Armed Groups along Sudan's Eastern Frontier: An overview and analysis (Geneva: Small Arms Survey, Graduate Institute of International Studies, 2007), p. 37
  5. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4