Tigray Region (ትግራይ ክልል Tigrāy Kilil) is the northernmost of the nine ethnic regions (kililoch) of Ethiopia. Containing the homeland of the Tigray people, it was formerly known as Region 1. Its capital is Mek'ele.
Tigray is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, the Afar Region to the east, and the Amhara Region to the south and southwest. Besides Mek'ele, other major cities in Tigray include Abiy Addi, Adigrat, Adwa, Axum, Humera, Korem, Maychew, Qwiha, Shire (Inda Selassie), Wukro and Zalambessa, as well as the historically significant town of Yeha.
Following the conclusion of the Ethiopian Civil War, although the area which became the Tigray Region was thought by inhabitants in the rest of Ethiopia to be the beneficiaries of enormous funds from an Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government dominated by fellow Tigrayans, in reality even emergency assistance was slow to materialize. John Young, who visited the area several times in the early 1990s, attributes this delay in part to "Budgetary restraints, structural readjustments, and lack of awareness in Addis Ababa of conditions in the province", but notes "an equally significant obstacle was posed by an entrenched, and largely Amhara-dominated central bureaucracy which used its power to block even authorised funds from reaching Tigray." At the same time, a growing urban middle class of traders, businessmen and government officials emerged which was both suspicious and distant from the victorious EPRDF. The ruling party attempted to address these challenges in forums with its middle class critics, as well as the establishment of a number of charitable non-governmental organizations controlled by the EPRDF, which include Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray, Relief Society of Tigray, and Tigray Development Association.
In 1998, war erupted between Eritrea and Ethiopia over a portion of territory that had been administered at part of Tigray, which included the town of Badme. Following a 2002 United Nations decision, much of this land was awarded to Eritrea, so far however, Ethiopia has refused to implement the final and binding ruling and as a result, relation with Eritrea is very tense.