Shire Inda Slasse

Coordinates: 14°6′N 38°17′E / 14.100°N 38.283°E / 14.100; 38.283
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Inda Slasse (እንዳ ሥላሴ)
City and woreda
Overhead view of Shire
Overhead view of Shire
Center of Midri Shire
Shire is located in Ethiopia
Location within Ethiopia
Shire is located in Horn of Africa
Location within the Horn of Africa
Shire is located in Africa
Location within Africa
Coordinates: 14°6′N 38°17′E / 14.100°N 38.283°E / 14.100; 38.283
Country Ethiopia
Region Tigray
ZoneSemien Mi'irabawi (North Western)
1,953 m (6,407 ft)
 • Total95,491
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Shire (Tigrinya: ሽረ, Shuh-ruh; Amharic: ሽሬ, Shuh-ré), also known as Shire Inda Selassie (Tigrinya: ሽረ እንዳ ሥላሴ, meaning "House of the Trinity"), is a city and separate woreda in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The city is the administrative center of the Shire Awraja, Mi erabawi Zoba and now Semien Mi'irabawi Zone.[1] It was part of Tahtay Koraro district.



An early mention of Shire is in one of the three surviving charters of Emperor Dawit I (r. 1382–1412).[2][3]

16th century[edit]

The metropolis was a tributary state of Adal and governed by the Christian, Diganah.[4]

20th century[edit]

As part of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War, Italian units under General Pietro Badoglio advanced out of Axum on 29 February 1936 to attack the Ethiopian army under Ras Imru Haile Selassie deployed around Shire in an action known as the Battle of Shire. Despite determined Ethiopian resistance, by 3 March the Italians had resumed their advance and shortly afterwards crossed the Tekezé River.

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1941, Shire served as the capital of the Shire sub-region until the administrative reorganization of the nation following the adoption of the 1995 Ethiopian Constitution.

Shire once again became a battlefield during the Ethiopian Civil War. The first clash of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) with government forces occurred on 5 August 1975, after Mehari Tekle ("Mussie"), a member of the TPLF leadership, was arrested in Addi Daero by government militiamen and taken to prison in Shire. Before he could be transported to a more secure facility in Mek'ele or Addis Ababa, a squad of eleven men burst into the prison, wounding one policeman and scattering the rest, freeing their comrade and 60 other prisoners, and spiriting him away to safety.[5]

During the latter part of the war, following the massive Ethiopian army defeat at the Battle of Afabet in March 1988, the TPLF launched a series of offensives, in which they destroyed government forces stationed at Rama, Adwa, Seleh Leha, and Shire. Only about 200 soldiers of the 17th Army Division were able to evacuate Shire and fall back to Gondar. This led to the raising of the Third Revolutionary Army, composed of the 603rd, 604th and 605th core armies. Between 19 June and 3 July 1988 the 604th was able to regain control over 12 districts, and entered Shire with no significant resistance from TPLF forces. However, due to unrest amongst the government soldiers at Addi Hageray, which permitted the TPLF to attack and occupy that town, the 604th was unable to advance again until 28 December. This led to the Second Battle of Shire, which ended on 19 February 1989 as a victory for the TPLF. Although Shire had been the headquarters of the Third Revolutionary Army at the beginning of the battle, at the end the remaining units were retreating towards Enda Aba Guna.[6] On 21 March 1989, Shire was bombed from the air by the Ethiopian Air Force: one person was killed.[7] The third edition of Lonely Planet guide to Ethiopia notes that "war relics" could still be seen near Shire.[8]

21st century[edit]

People collect drinking water in one of the many displaced persons camps in Shire, June 11, 2021

Since late 2019 swarms of desert locust have damaged crops in the horn of Africa leaving up to one million people in Ethiopia in need of food aid according to the UN.[9]

The Tigray War that began in November 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia aggravated the food situation in Tigray Region.[10] The situation was particularly bad in Shire, with 100,000 internally displaced people. About ten percent of the children were diagnosed (by arm measurements) as having severe acute malnutrition. The DX Open Network, based in the UK and analysing satellite images, found that two warehouse-style structures in the UN World Food Program compound at Hitsats refugee camp had been "very specifically destroyed." Doctors Without Borders found that in the parts of Adigrat, Adwa and Axum that they had access to, in other parts of Tigray Region, the civilian casualties were "extremely high".[11] During the Nov 2020 war of TPLF and Ethiopian PP, Eritrean Shaebia, and others were token place in Shire. During this bloody war Shire damaged three times morethan any place in the world, heavily destroyed by airplane bombs, missiles, explosives and heavy Ammunitions. especially in September 2022 more than 1 million Armies of those war actors has been participated; and the homes, business and buildings owned by Shire Natives were destroyed. for Example Dejena Hotel, Gebar Shire Hotel, the home of Zenebe Kifle, etc. Hundreds of innocent Shire Native's had been killed by Ethiopian PP, Eritrean Shaebiya and TPLF.


Shire has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw) with average rainfall reaching 905 mm.

Climate data for Shire
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 28.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.2
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 10.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 2


Street in Shire, seen with people, camels and goats.

Based on the July 2021 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this city has a total population of 95,491.

Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this town has a total population of 47,284, of whom 21,867 are men and 25,417 women. The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 85.11% reporting that as their religion, while 14.67% of the population were Muslim.[12]

According to the 1994 national census the town had a population of 25,269 of whom 11,360 were men and 13,909 women. In the mid-1980s, the population of the town was below 15, 000.


The Ethiopian Roads Authority had two roads built to connect Shire to neighboring towns. In June 2009, the authority released a report on their status. The road connecting Shire with Addi Goshu, 156 kilometers in length, was 52% complete, and would be completed by November 2010. The road that would connect to Addi Abun, 92 kilometers in length, would be completed in two years.[13] As of May 2010 construction was underway on a road segment 71 kilometers long connecting Shire west to Dedebit, and which will continue on to Adi Remets then terminate at Dejena Densha.[14] The town hosts an airport, Shire Airport (IATA code SHC).[15]


  1. ^ At least in 1998, per EUE: Tigray Evacuees, 12/98 Archived 2007-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ G.W.B. Huntingford, The Historical Geography of Ethiopia from the first century AD to 1704 (London: The British Academy, 1989), p. 82
  3. ^ Smidt W (2003) Cartography, in: Uhlig S (ed.): Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, vol. 1: 688-691
  4. ^ Chekroun, Amélie. Le" Futuh al-Habasa" : écriture de l'histoire, guerre et société dans le Bar Sa'ad ad-din (Ethiopie, XVIe siècle). l’Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. p. 336. Archived from the original on 2022-09-28. Retrieved 2022-12-31.
  5. ^ Aregawi Berhe, A Political history of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (1975-1991) (Los Angeles: Tsehai, 2009), pp. 76f. (Aregawi states in a footnote that he was a member of the eleven-man squad.)
  6. ^ Tekeste Melake, "The Battle of Shire" Archived 2009-01-07 at the Wayback Machine, Ethiopian Review, 24 September 2008 (accessed 30 July 2009)
  7. ^ Human Rights Watch, 24 July 1991: ETHIOPIA - "Mengistu has Decided to Burn Us like Wood" - Bombing of Civilians and Civilian Targets by the Air Force Archived 2022-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Matt Philips and Jean-Bernard Carillet, Ethiopia and Eritrea, third edition (n.p.: Lonely Planet, 2006), p. 131
  9. ^ "Locust invasion creates food crisis for 1 million Ethiopians". Archived from the original on 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  10. ^ "How war threatens Ethiopia's struggle against worst locust swarm in 25 years". the Guardian. 2020-11-16. Archived from the original on 2021-12-23. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  11. ^ "'Extreme urgent need': Starvation haunts Ethiopia's Tigray". AP NEWS. 17 January 2021. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  12. ^ Census 2007 Tables: Tigray Region Archived 2010-11-14 at the Wayback Machine, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5 and 3.4.
  13. ^ "Authority constructs 2.2 billion birr worth roads in Tigray" Archived 2010-05-20 at the Wayback Machine, Ethiopian News Agency 23 June 2009 (accessed 23 July 2009)
  14. ^ "Tigray, Southern Towns Get First Roads" Archived 2010-02-13 at the Wayback Machine, Addis Fortune 2 May 2010 (accessed 5 May 2010)
  15. ^[dead link]