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ETHNIC AND CULTURAL GROUPS

Issa People

The Issa reside in Ethiopia for the most part; they reach the Oromia and Afar regions of Ethiopia and make up a large part of the Chartered city of Dire Dawa (a chartered city is governed by their own chartered laws rather than those of the national or federal laws). They also reside in Djibouti, were they make up half of the population. They also reside in northwestern Somalia. The Issa are the largest ethnic group within Djibouti. They are also the second largest sub-clan within the borders of the Somali region of Ethiopia based on the Ethiopian population census 2008.

Traditionally, they live as nomadic cattle breeders, but they also engage in trade and have contacts throughout the region. Today, they tend to settle because more than half of their people live in the capital.

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