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History During the 19th century, Jaldessa was an important station on the trade route between Harar and the Red Sea coast.<ref>Richard Pankhurst, Economic History of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University Press, 1968), p. 408</ref> W.C. Barker, writing in 1842, mentions it as a stopping place in the territory of the Nole Oromo, on the caravan route between Zeila and Harar.<ref>Barker, "Extract Report on the Probable Geographical Position of Harrar; With Some Information Relative to the Various Tribes in the Vicinity", Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, 12 (1842), p. 244</ref> The party of Italian explorer Count Pietro Porro was ambushed and slaughtered at Jaldessa in April 1886, which provided Menelik II of Shewa with an excuse to attack Harar.<ref>Bahru Zewde, A history of modern Ethiopia, second edition (Oxford: James Currey, 2001), p. 63</ref> Between the Shewan victory at Chelenqo and the foundation of Dire Dawa, Jaldessa was the seat of the local Ethiopian governor. The governor between the 1890s and the foundation of Dire Dawa (1902) was Ato Mersha Nahusenay.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The foundation of that city, as well as the creation of the Addis Ababa - Djibouti Railway diminished the importance of Jaldessa.<ref>"The municipality and Development of Urban Services", Dire Dawa Administration website (accessed 6 September 2009)</ref>

Early in the Ogaden War, Jaldessa was captured by Somali units as they closed in on Dire Dawa; it was recaptured 4 February 1978 by the Ethiopian Ninth Division with Cuban tank and artillery shock troops.<ref>Gebru Tareke, "The Ethiopia-Somalia War of 1977 Revisited," International Journal of African Historical Studies, 2000 (33), p. 657</ref>

In 2008, the United States of America selected Jaldessa as one of seven locations where servicemen of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa worked with Ethiopian veterinarians to vaccinate more than 20,000 animals: cattle were inoculated against blackleg and anthrax, while sheep and goats were inoculated against contagious caprine pleuro-pneumonia and peste des petits ruminants.<ref>"Ambassador Joins CJTF-HOA Team to Promote Ethiopian Livestock Health", U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia website (accessed 6 September 2009)</ref>


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