During the last decade, slope failures were reported in a 500 km(2) study area in the Geba-Werei catchment, northern Ethiopia, a region where landslides were not considered an important hazard before. Field observations, however, revealed that many of the failures were actually reactivations of old deep-seated landslides after land use changes. Therefore, this study was conducted (I) to explore the importance of environmental factors controlling landslide occurrence and (2) to estimate future landslide susceptibility. A landslide inventory map of the study area derived from aerial photograph interpretation and field checks shows the location of 57 landslides and six zones with multiple landslides, mainly complex slides and debris flows. In total 14.8% of the area is affected by an old landslide. For the landslide susceptibility modelling, weights of evidence (WofE), was applied and five different models were produced. After comparison of the models and spatial validation using Receiver Operating Characteristic curves and Kappa values, a model combining data on elevation, hillslope gradient, aspect, geology and distance to faults was selected. This model confirmed our hypothesis that deep-seated landslides are located on hillslopes with a moderate slope gradient (i.e. 5 degrees-13 degrees). The depletion areas are expected on and along the border of plateaus where weathered basalts rich in smectite clays are found, and the landslide debris is expected to accumulate on the Amba Aradam sandstone and upper Antalo limestone. As future landslides are believed to occur on inherently unstable hillslopes similar to those where deep-seated landslides occurred, the classified landslide susceptibility map allows delineating zones where human interventions decreasing slope stability might cause slope failures. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied methodology could be used in similar areas where information on the location of landslides is essential for present-day hazard analysis. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.