Tigray is the northern-most of the nine ethnic regions (kililoch) of Ethiopia. It was formerly known as Region 1. Its capital is Mek'ele. Other major towns and cities in Tigray include Abiy Adi, Adigrat, Adwa, Aksum, Himora, Inda Selase, Korem, Maychew, Wik'ro and Zalambessa. The region borders Eritrea to the north (since 1993, independent from Ethiopia), Sudan to the west, the Ethiopian region of Afar to the east and the Ethopian region of Amhara to the south. The predominent language of this kilil is Tigrigna, which is related to Ge'ez. Covering 50,286 km 2, its population (as of 1999) is 3,593,000.
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 2002United Nations decision, much of this land was awarded to Eritrea.