Ogaden (pronounced and often spelled Ogadēn; Somali: Ogaadeen) is the official name of the Somali Region, the territory comprising the eastern portion of Ethiopia. The inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Somalis. ONLF supporters generally refer to the entire area of this future state as Ogaden or Ogadenia even though the name is controversial among some groups because of its clan-affiliation. The title "Ogaden" is often preferred by the international communities.
The region, which is around 300,000 square kilometres, borders Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya. Important towns include Jijiga, Degahbur, Gode, Kebri Dahar, Fiq, Shilabo, Kelafo, Werder and Danan.
The Ogaden is a plateau, with an elevation above sea level that ranges from 1,500 metres in the northwest, falling to about 300 metres along the southern limits and the Wabi Shebelle valley. The areas with altitudes between 1,400 and 1,600 metres are characterised as semi-arid; receiving as much as 500–600 mm of rainfall annually. More typical of the Ogaden is an average annual rainfall of 350 mm and less. The landscape consists of dense shrubland, bush grassland and bare hills. In more recent years, the Ogaden has suffered from increasingly erratic rainfall patterns, which has led to an increasing frequency of major droughts: in 1984–85; 1994; and most recently in 1999–2000, during which pastoralists claim to have lost 70–90 percent of their cattle.