Page last updated at 00:28 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

In pictures: An Ethiopian king

Guyyoo Gobbaa

Guyyoo Gobbaa is a 36-year-old cattle farmer from a remote region of southern Ethiopia. He has also just been named king of one million people from the Borana group. (All pictures: Anita Powell)

Young Borana children

These children are the new king's offspring - one will inherit his title. The coronation ceremony is shrouded in secrecy - anyone witnessing the transfer of power is said to spit blood, and then die.

Borana tribesmen dancing

The coronation after-party continues for days, with elders travelling from distant villages to pay their respects.

Grazing land

The king comes to power at a difficult time for the Borana, traditionally a nomadic, cattle-herding people. Precious resources such as water are in short supply.

Borana tribesman holding a gun

In recent weeks fighters from a group in Ethiopia's Somali region made incursions into Borana land, and the Borana defended their territory with ferocity.

Borana tribesman looks into the distance

As many as 100,000 people are thought to have been displaced by the fighting, and 300 people killed. Such clashes - over cattle and water - are fairly common in this remote, drought-prone area.

Guyyoo Gobbaa sitting under a tree

The new king told the BBC that the Somali group was trying to steal his people's land. "Of course if someone tries to snatch my things, I have to stop him," he said.

Borana tribesman with a staff

The new king also faces a huge task to get more services from the national government, while maintaining his people's unique nomadic way of life.



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