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Shilavo is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Coordinates: 6°6′N 44°46′E / 6.100°N 44.767°E / 6.100; 44.767
Country Ethiopia
Region Somali
Zone Korahe
Elevation 395 m (1,296 ft)
Population (2005)
 • Total 7,239
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Shilavo (Somali: Shilaabo; also spelled "Scilave", "Shelabo") is a town of the Ethiopian part of the Ogaden. Located in the Korahe Zone of the Somali Region, the town has a latitude and longitude of 6°06′N 44°46′E / 6.100°N 44.767°E / 6.100; 44.767Coordinates: 6°06′N 44°46′E / 6.100°N 44.767°E / 6.100; 44.767 with an elevation of 395 meters above sea level. it is the administrative center of Shilavo woreda.


Dr G. Agge passed through the area in the 1930s, and later wrote that he encountered groves of acacia trees around a spring of brackish and sulphurous water. Some ten years previous to his arrival, there had been a fight between Somali and Italian soldiers, and bones of the dead could be seen in the grass. The details about the battle were contradictory: one source claims they were Somali that the Italians had hunted down and killed, while another claimed that the Somali had slaughtered the Italians. By June 1935, the Ethiopian government had installed a garrison of 200 soldiers at Shilavo.[1]

The former President of nearby Somalia, Maj. General Mohamed Siyad Barre, was born in Shilavo, although he later claimed he was born in Garbahaarreey so he would be eligible to serve in the Italian colonial police force.[2]

Somali military units supported the Western Somali Liberation Front's attack on an Ethiopian military unit outside Silavo in June 1982, which led to a renewal of hostilities between the two countries.[3]

The mayor of Shilavo, Hassan Ali Omar, was arrested in July 1995, for allegedly being a member of the Ogaden National Liberation Front.[1]


Based on 2005 figures from the Central Statistical Agency, Shilavo has an estimated total population of 7,239 of whom 3,877 are men and 3,362 are women.[4] The 1997 census reported this town had a total population of 4,853 of whom 2,561 were men and 2,383 women. The largest ethnic group reported in this town was the Somali (98.95%) with the Muse Gumcadle sub-clans of Makaahiil clan.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 2 December 2007)
  2. ^ David D. Laitin and Said S. Samatar, Somalia: Nation in Search of a State (Boulder: Westview Press 1987), p. 79
  3. ^ Ethiopia Somalia Clashes 1982 (accessed 20 July 2009)
  4. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.4
  5. ^ 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.