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{{Redirect|Erythrea|other uses|Eritrea (disambiguation)|and|Erythrean Sea}}{{distinguish|Eretria}}{{short description|Country in North East Horn of Africa}}{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2017}}{{Coord|15|N|39|E|display=title}}

>Hagärä Ertraaritalics=off}}|Dawlah Irītriyā}}| image_flag = Flag of Eritrea.svg| image_coat = Emblem of Eritrea (or argent azur).svg| symbol_type = Emblem| image_map = Location Eritrea AU Africa.svgcountryprefix= region=Africa subregion=the African Union |subregion_color=light blue}}| image_map2 = Eritrea - Location Map (2013) - ERI - UNOCHA.svgErtra, Ertra, Ertra>ኤርትራ ኤርትራ ኤርትራ"()(File:National Anthem of Eritrea by US Navy Band.ogg)| official_languages = NonePeople and Languages » Embassy of The State of Eritrea. Retrieved on 5 June 2016. (see working languages)| national_languages = {{unbulleted listTigrinya language>TigrinyaBeja language>Beja|ArabicTigre language>TigreKunama language>KunamaSaho language>SahoBilen language>BilenNara language>NaraAfar language>AfarEnglish language>English}}| languages_type = Working languagesTigrinya language>Arabic language>English languageHTTP://WWW.SHABAIT.COM/ABOUT-ERITREA/ERITREA-AT-A-GLANCE/49-ERITREA-AT-A-GLANCEAUTHOR=SHABAIT ADMINISTRATOR, Eritrea Ministry of Information, }}| languages2_type = Other languagesItalian language>ItalianHTTP://WWW.ORIZZONTICULTURALI.IT/IT_INTERVENTI_GIAMPAOLO-MONTESANTO.HTML>TITLE=SETTIMANA DELLA LINGUA ITALIANA NEL MONDO: L’ITALIANO PARLATO IN ERITREA - ORIZZONTI CULTURALI ITALO-ROMENIWEBSITE=WWW.MAITACLI.IT, {edih}| ethnic_groups = {hide}unbulleted list
| 55% Tigrinya
| 30% Tigre
| 4% Saho
| 2% Kunama
| 2% Bilen
| 2% Rashaida
| 5% Others
{edih}| ethnic_groups_year = 2012CIA – Eritrea – Ethnic groups. Retrieved 25 June 2012.| capital = Asmara
15N55type:city}}| largest_city = capitalUnitary state>Unitary One-party state Presidential system>presidential republic under a Totalitarianism dictatorshipHTTP://WWW.OHCHR.ORG/EN/HRBODIES/HRC/COIERITREA/PAGES/REPORTCOIERITREA.ASPX WEBSITE= UNHRC WEBSITE ACCESSDATE=9 JUNE 2015, HTTPS://WWW.HRW.ORG/WORLD-REPORT/2017/COUNTRY-CHAPTERS/ERITREA >TITLE=WORLD REPORT 2017: RIGHTS TRENDS IN ERITREA WEBSITE=HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, HTTPS://MJPS.SSMU.CA/2018/02/21/ERITREAS-SILENT-TOTALITARIANISM/>TITLE=ERITREA’S SILENT TOTALITARIANISM LAST=SAAD FIRST=FERGALDATE=10 JULY 2018VIA=WWW.BBC.COM, TAYLOR >FIRST1=ADAM URL=HTTPS://WWW.WASHINGTONPOST.COM/NEWS/WORLDVIEWS/WP/2015/06/12/THE-BRUTAL-DICTATORSHIP-THE-WORLD-KEEPS-IGNORING/ WORK=WASHINGTON POST LANGUAGE=EN, List of heads of state of Eritrea>President| leader_name1 = Isaias AfwerkiNational Assembly (Eritrea)>National AssemblyEritrean War of Independence>Independence| sovereignty_note = from Ethiopia| established_event1 = De facto State of Eritrea| established_date1 = 24 May 1991| established_event2 = De jure State of Eritrea| established_date2 = 24 May 1993| area_rank = 99th | area_km2 = 117,600| area_sq_mi = 45,405 | percent_water = 0.14%Eritrea}}{{UN_Population|ref}}| population_estimate_rank = 116thYear}}| population_density_km2 = 51.8| population_density_sq_mi = 111.7 | population_density_rank = 154thPUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ACCESS-DATE=2 MARCH 2019, | GDP_PPP_rank = 156th| GDP_PPP_year = 2019| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $1,725| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 180th| GDP_nominal = $7.720 billion| GDP_nominal_rank = 149th| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $1,253| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 160th| Gini_year =| Gini_change = | Gini = | Gini_ref =| Gini_rank =| HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = steady| HDI = 0.440 WEBSITE=HDR.UNDP.ORG, | HDI_rank = 179thEritrean nakfa>Nakfa| currency_code = ERNEast Africa Time>EAT| utc_offset = +3| time_zone_DST = not observed| utc_offset_DST = +3| drives_on = right| calling_code = +291| cctld = .er}}Eritrea ({{IPAc-en|ˌ|ɛr|ɪ|ˈ|t|r|eɪ|ə|,_|ˌ|ɛr|ɪ|ˈ|t|r|iː|ə}};WEB,weblink Merriam-Webster Online,, 25 April 2007, 2 May 2010, {{IPA audio link|Ertra.ogg}}; ; ), officially the State of Eritrea,ISO 3166-1 Newsletter VI-13 International Organization for Standardization is a sovereign state in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately {{Convert|117600|km2|sqmi|0|abbr=on}}, and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. The name Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea ( ), which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around {{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN_Population|Eritrea}}|R}}/1e6 round 0}} million. Tigrinya, Arabic, and English serve as the three working languages. Most residents speak languages from the Afroasiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Islam or Christianity.{{CIA World Factbook link|er|Eritrea|accessdate=28 February 2013}}The Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD.Munro-Hay, Stuart (1991) Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: University Press, p. 57 {{ISBN|0-7486-0106-6}}.Henze, Paul B. (2005) Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia, {{ISBN|1-85065-522-7}}. It adopted Christianity around the middle of the fourth century.Aksumite Ethiopia. (24 March 2007). Retrieved 3 March 2012. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien.The creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates (for example, Medri Bahri and the Sultanate of Aussa) eventually resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea, but the Eritreans who had argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1941 anticipated what was coming and, in 1961, organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition. In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory.Eritrea is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship in which national legislative and presidential elections have never been held since independence.WEB,weblink Eritrea’s Silent Totalitarianism, Asma, Saad, 21 February 2018, According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world. The Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated.WEB, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ERITREA'S REALITY,weblink E Smart, E Smart Campaign, 12 June 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 August 2014, The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods (6.5 years on average), which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid. Because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was also ranked as having the second-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind only North Korea.The sovereign state of Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and is an observer state in the Arab League.Arab League Fast Facts – (18 March 2016). Retrieved on 5 June 2016.


The name Eritrea is derived from the ancient Greek name for the Red Sea ( , based on the adjective "red"). It was first formally adopted in 1890, with the formation of Italian Eritrea (Colonia Eritrea).BOOK, Connell, Dan, Killion, Tom, Historical Dictionary of Eritrea,weblink 2010, Scarecrow Press, 978-0-8108-7505-0, 7–, The name persisted over the course of subsequent British and Ethiopian occupation, and was reaffirmed by the 1993 independence referendum and 1997 constitution."Today, 23 May 1997, on this historic date, after active popular participation, approve and solemnly ratify, through the Constituent Assembly, this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent State of Eritrea."The Constitution of Eritrea (



{{contains Ethiopic text|compact=yes}}At Buya in Eritrea, one of the oldest hominids representing a possible link between Homo erectus and an archaic Homo sapiens was found by Italian scientists. Dated to over 1 million years old, it is the oldest skeletal find of its kind and provides a link between hominids and the earliest anatomically modern humans.BOOK, 978-0-07-913665-7, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 9th, The McGraw Hill Companies Inc., 2002, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, It is believed that the section of the Danakil Depression in Eritrea was also a major player in terms of human evolution, and may contain other traces of evolution from Homo erectus hominids to anatomically modern humans.WEB,weblink Pleistocene Park, 2 October 2006, 8 September 1999, File:Kohaito, grotta di adi alauti con pitture rupestri databili al 2500 ac ca. 14 bestiame.JPG|thumb|Neolithic rock art in a QohaitoQohaitoDuring the last interglacial period, the Red Sea coast of Eritrea was occupied by early anatomically modern humans.JOURNAL, Walter, R. C., Buffler, R. T., Bruggemann, J. H., Guillaume, M. M. M., Berhe, S. M., Negassi, B., Libsekal, Y., Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L., Von Cosel, 10.1038/35011048, R., Néraudeau, D., Gagnon, M., Early human occupation of the Red Sea coast of Eritrea during the last interglacial, Nature, 405, 6782, 65–69, 2000, 10811218, 2000Natur.405...65W, It is believed that the area was on the route out of Africa that some scholars suggest was used by early humans to colonize the rest of the Old World. In 1999, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, Canadian, American, Dutch and French scientists discovered a Paleolithic site with stone and obsidian tools dated to over 125,000 years old near the Bay of Zula south of Massawa, along the Red Sea littoral. The tools are believed to have been used by early humans to harvest marine resources such as clams and oysters.WEB,weblink 2 October 2006, Out of Africa, 10 September 1999, According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing Neolithic era from the family's proposed urheimat ("original homeland") in the Nile Valley.JOURNAL, Zarins, Juris, 1990, Early Pastoral Nomadism and the Settlement of Lower Mesopotamia, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 280, 280, 31–65, 1357309, 10.2307/1357309, JOURNAL, 10.1126/science.1078208, Diamond, J., Bellwood, P., Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions, Science, 300, 5619, 597–603, 2003, 12714734, 2003Sci...300..597D,, Other scholars propose that the Afroasiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, with its speakers subsequently dispersing from there.BOOK, Blench, R., Archaeology, Language, and the African Past, 2006, Rowman Altamira, 978-0759104662, 143–144,weblink



File:Queen of punt.jpg|thumb|Queen Ati, wife of King Perahu of Punt, as depicted on Pharaoh Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-BahriDeir el-BahriTogether with Djibouti, Ethiopia, northern Somalia, and the Red Sea coast of Sudan,BOOK, Giorgis, Andebrhan Welde, Eritrea at a Crossroads: A Narrative of Triumph, Betrayal and Hope,weblink 2014, Strategic Book Publishing, 978-1-62857-331-2, 21–, Eritrea is considered the most likely location of the land which the ancient Egyptians called Punt, first mentioned in the 25th century BC.Najovits, Simson (2004) Egypt, trunk of the tree, Volume 2, Algora Publishing, p. 258, {{ISBN|087586256X}}. The ancient Puntites had close relations with Ancient Egypt during the rule of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut.This is confirmed by genetic studies of mummified baboons. In 2010, a study was conducted on baboon mummies that were brought from Punt to Egypt as gifts by the ancient Egyptians. The scientists from the Egyptian Museum and the University of California used oxygen isotope analysis to examine hairs from two baboon mummies that had been preserved in the British Museum. One of the baboons had distorted isotopic data, so the other's oxygen isotope values were compared to those of present-day baboon specimens from regions of interest. The researchers initially found that the mummies most closely matched modern baboon specimens in Eritrea and Ethiopia, which suggested that Punt was likely a narrow region that included eastern Ethiopia and all of Eritrea.NEWS, Baboon mummy analysis reveals Eritrea and Ethiopia as location of land of Punt, 26 April 2010, The Independent, 26 April 2010,weblink Jarus, Owen, In 2015, isotopic analysis of other ancient baboon mummies from Punt confirmed that the specimens likely originated from an area encompassing the Eritrea-Ethiopia corridor and eastern Somalia.WEB, NATHANIEL J. DOMINY1, SALIMA IKRAM, GILLIAN L. MORITZ, JOHN N. CHRISTENSEN, PATRICK V. WHEATLEY, JONATHAN W. CHIPMAN, Mummified baboons clarify ancient Red Sea trade routes,weblink American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 25 June 2016,

Ona Culture

Excavations at Sembel found evidence of an ancient pre-Aksumite civilization in greater Asmara. This Ona urban culture is believed to have been among the earliest pastoral and agricultural communities in the Horn region. Artifacts at the site have been dated to between 800 BC and 400 BC, contemporaneous with other pre-Aksumite settlements in the Eritrean and Ethiopian highlands during the mid-first millennium BC.JOURNAL, Schmidt, Peter R., The 'Ona' culture of greater Asmara: archaeology's liberation of Eritrea's ancient history from colonial paradigms, Journal of Eritrean Studies, 2002, 1, 1, 29–58,weblink 8 September 2014, Additionally, the Ona culture may have had connections with the ancient Land of Punt. In a tomb in Thebes (Luxor) dated to the 18th dynasty reign of Pharaoh Amenophis II (Amenhotep II), long-necked pots similar to those that were made by the Ona people are depicted as part of the cargo in a ship from Punt.BOOK, Avanzini, Alessandra, Profumi d'Arabia: atti del convegno, 1997, L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER, 978-8870629750, 280,weblink

Gash Group

File:Kohaito,_zona_dei_palazzi_axumiti_09.JPG|thumb|right|Pre-Axumite monolithic columns in QohaitoQohaitoExcavations in and near Agordat in central Eritrea yielded the remains of an ancient pre-Aksumite civilization known as the Gash Group.BOOK, Leclant, Jean, Sesto Congresso internazionale di egittologia: atti, Volume 2, 1993, International Association of Egyptologists, 402,weblink Ceramics were discovered that were related to those of the C-Group (Temehu) pastoral culture, which inhabited the Nile Valley between 2500–1500 BC.BOOK, Cole, Sonia Mary, The Prehistory of East, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1964, 273, Some sources dating back to 3500 BC.Eritrea. CIA World Factbook. Shards akin to those of the Kerma culture, another community that flourished in the Nile Valley around the same period, were also found at other local archaeological sites in the Barka valley belonging to the Gash Group. According to Peter Behrens (1981) and Marianne Bechaus-Gerst (2000), linguistic evidence indicates that the C-Group and Kerma peoples spoke Afroasiatic languages of the Berber and Cushitic branches, respectively.BOOK, Marianne Bechaus-Gerst, Roger Blench, Kevin MacDonald, The Origins and Development of African Livestock: Archaeology, Genetics, Linguistics and Ethnography, Linguistic evidence for the prehistory of livestock in Sudan, 2000, 2014, Routledge, 978-1135434168, 453,weblink CONFERENCE, Behrens, Peter, Libya Antiqua: Report and Papers of the Symposium Organized by Unesco in Paris, 16 to 18 January 1984, Language and migrations of the early Saharan cattle herders: the formation of the Berber branch, 1986, Unesco, 978-9231023767, 30,weblink

Kingdom of D'mt

File:Leaping Ibex, Ethiopia (2130266960).jpg|thumb|Bronze oil lamp excavated at Matara, dating from the Kingdom of DÊ¿mt (1st century BCE or earlier)]]DÊ¿mt was a kingdom that encompassed most of Eritrea and the northern frontier of Ethiopia. The polity existed during the 10th to 5th centuries BC. Given the presence of a massive temple complex at Yeha, this area was most likely the kingdom's capital. Qohaito, often identified as the town of Koloe in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea,Huntingford, G.W.B. (1989) Historical Geography of Ethiopia from the first century AD to 1704. London: British Academy. pp. 38 ff as well as Matara were important ancient DÊ¿mt kingdom cities in southern Eritrea.The realm developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, and made iron tools and weapons. After the fall of DÊ¿mt in the 5th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms. This lasted until the rise of one of these polities during the first century, the Kingdom of Aksum, which was able to reunite the area.Pankhurst, Richard K.P. (17 January 2003) WEB,weblink Let's Look Across the Red Sea I, 2006-01-09, bot: unknown,weblink" title="">weblink 9 January 2006, , Addis Tribune

Kingdom of Aksum

The Kingdom of Aksum was a trading empire centered in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia.BOOK, 2012, Oxford University Press, 48,weblink The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Phillipson, David, Neil Asher Silberman, It existed from approximately 100–940 AD, growing from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period around the 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD.According to the medieval Liber Axumae (Book of Aksum), Aksum's first capital, Mazaber, was built by Itiyopis, son of Cush.BOOK, Africa Geoscience Review, Volume 10, 2003, Rock View International, 366,weblink The capital was later moved to Aksum in northern Ethiopia. The Kingdom used the name "Ethiopia" as early as the 4th century.The Aksumites erected a number of large stelae, which served a religious purpose in pre-Christian times. One of these granite columns, the Obelisk of Aksum, is the largest such structure in the world, standing at {{convert|90|ft|m|abbr=off}}.BOOK, Brockman, Norbert, Encyclopedia of Sacred Places, Volume 1, 2011, ABC-CLIO, 978-1598846546, 30,weblink Under Ezana (fl. 320–360), Aksum later adopted Christianity.BOOK, Munro-Hay, Stuart C., Aksum: An African Civilisation of Late Antiquity, 1991, Edinburgh University Press, 978-0748601066, 77,weblink In the 7th century, early Muslims from Mecca, at least companions of the Islamic Nabī (, Prophet) Muhammad, sought refuge from Qurayshi persecution by travelling to the kingdom, a journey known in Islamic history as the First Hijrah. They reportedly built the first African mosque, that is the Mosque of the Companions, Massawa.BOOK, Reid, Richard J., A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, John Wiley and Sons, The Islamic Frontier in Eastern Africa, 106, 978-0470658987,weblink 12 January 2012, 15 March 2015, The kingdom is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as an important market place for ivory, which was exported throughout the ancient world. Aksum was at the time ruled by Zoskales, who also governed the port of Adulis.Periplus of the Erythreaean Sea, chs. 4, 5 The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own Aksumite currency. The state also established its hegemony over the declining Kingdom of Kush and regularly entered the politics of the kingdoms on the Arabian peninsula, eventually extending its rule over the region with the conquest of the Himyarite Kingdom. The country is also the alleged resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, and the purported home of the Queen of Sheba.JOURNAL, Paul, Raffaele,weblink Keepers of the Lost Ark?, Smithsonian Magazine, December 2007, 5 April 2011,

Middle Ages

Medri Bahri

File:Eritrea-Semenawi Keyih Bahri.png|thumb|right|The Northern Red Sea Region, part of the Hamasien province of the medieval Medri BahriMedri BahriAfter the decline of Aksum, the Eritrean highlands were under the domain of Bahr Negash ruled by the Bahr Negus. The area was then known as Ma'ikele Bahr ("between the seas/rivers", i.e. the land between the Red Sea and the Mereb river).Tamrat, Taddesse (1972) Church and State in Ethiopia (1270–1527). Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 74. It was later renamed under Emperor Zara Yaqob as the domain of the Bahr Negash, the Medri Bahri ("Sea land" in Tingrinya, although it included some areas like Shire on the other side of the Mereb, today in Ethiopia).Kendie, Daniel (2005) The Five Dimensions of the Eritrean Conflict 1941–2004: Deciphering the Geo-Political Puzzle. Signature Book Printing, Inc. pp. 17–18. With its capital at Debarwa,Denison, Edward; Ren, Guang Yu and Gebremedhin, Naigzy (2003) Asmara: Africa's secret modernist city. {{ISBN|1858942098}}. p. 20 the state's main provinces were Hamasien, Serae and Akele Guzai.Turks briefly occupied the highland parts of Baharnagash in 1559 and withdrew after they encountered resistance and were pushed back by the Bahrnegash and highland forces. In 1578 they tried to expand into the highlands with the help of Bahr Negash Yisehaq who had switched alliances due to power struggle, and by 1589 once again they were apparently compelled to withdraw their forces to the coast. After that Ottomans abandoned their ambitions to establish themselves on the highlands and remained in the lowlands until they left the region by 1872.Jonathan Miran Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa. Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 38–39 & 91 Google BooksJonathan Miran Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa. Indiana University Press, 2009, pp. 38–39 & 91The Scottish traveler James Bruce reported in 1771 that Medri Bahri was a distinct political entity from Abyssinia, noting that the two territories were frequently in conflict. The Bahre-Nagassi ("Kings of the Sea") alternately fought with or against the Abyssinians and the neighbouring Muslim Adal Sultanate depending on the geopolitical circumstances. Medri Bahri was thus part of the Christian resistance against Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi of Adal's forces, but later joined the Adalite states and the Ottoman Empire front against Abyssinia in 1572. That 16th century also marked the arrival of the Ottomans, who began making inroads in the Red Sea area.BOOK, Okbazghi Yohannes, A Pawn in World Politics: Eritrea,weblink 1991, University of Florida Press, 978-0-8130-1044-1, 31–32, James Bruce in his book published in 1805 reported Hadawi, the seat of Baharanagash, was part of the Tigré province of Abyssinia which was ruled by Ras Mikael Sehul at the time of his travel. The officer in Hadawi watched over the Naybe of Masawa (province of Turk's Habesh Eyalet), and starved him into obedience by intercepting his provisions, whenever the officer in Hadawi and the governor of Tigré found it necessary. Bruce also located Tigré between Red Sea and the river Tekezé and stated many large governments, such as Enderta and Antalow, and the great part of Baharhagash were on the eastern side of Tigré province.James Bruce Travels through part of Africa, Syria, Egypt .... Published in 1805 pp. 171 Google BooksJames Bruce Travels through part of Africa, Syria, Egypt .... Published in 1805 pp. 128 Google BooksJames Bruce Travels through part of Africa, Syria, Egypt .... Published in 1805 pp. 229 & 230 Google Books

Aussa Sultanate

File:Red Red.svg|thumb|right|Flag of the Aussa SultanateAussa SultanateAt the end of the 16th century, the Aussa Sultanate was established in the Denkel lowlands of Eritrea.BOOK, In defence of the Eritrean revolution against Ethiopian social chauvinists, 1978, AESNA, 38,weblink Later in their history, the Denkel lowlands of Eritrea were part of the Sultanate of Aussa, which came into being towards the end of the sixteenth century., The polity had come into existence in 1577, when Muhammed Jasa moved his capital from Harar to Aussa (Asaita) with the split of the Adal Sultanate into Aussa and the Sultanate of Harar. At some point after 1672, Aussa declined in conjunction with Imam Umar Din bin Adam's recorded ascension to the throne.Abir, Mordechai (1968) The era of the princes: the challenge of Islam and the re-unification of the Christian empire, 1769–1855. London: Longmans, p. 23 n. 1. In 1734, the Afar leader Kedafu, head of the Mudaito clan, seized power and established the Mudaito Dynasty.Abir, Mordechai (1968) The era of the princes: the challenge of Islam and the re-unification of the Christian empire, 1769–1855. London: Longmans. pp. 23–26.BOOK, Pankhurst, Richard, The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century, 1997, Red Sea Press, 978-0932415196,weblink This marked the start of a new and more sophisticated polity that would last into the colonial period.

Habesh Eyalet

File:OttomanEmpire1566.png|thumb|The Ottoman EmpireOttoman EmpireBy 1517, the Ottomans had succeeded in conquering Medri Bahri. They occupied all of northeastern present-day Eritrea for the next two decades, an area which stretched from Massawa to Swakin in Sudan.The territory became an Ottoman governorate (eyalet), known as the Habesh Eyalet. Massawa served as the new province's first capital. When the city became of secondary economical importance, the administrative capital was soon moved across the Red Sea to Jeddah. Its headquarters remained there from the end of the 16th century to the early 19th century, with Medina temporarily serving as the capital in the 18th century.BOOK, Siegbert Uhlig, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha,weblink 2005, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 978-3-447-05238-2, 951, The Ottomans were eventually driven out in the last quarter of the 16th century. However, they retained control over the seaboard until the establishment of Italian Eritrea in the late 1800s.

Modern history

Italian Eritrea

File:Tallero d'Eritrea 129421.jpg|thumb|Eritrean talleroEritrean tallero(File:Eritrea 1896.jpg|thumb|Map of Eritrea in 1896)The boundaries of the present-day Eritrea nation state were established during the Scramble for Africa. In 1869Ullendorff, Edward. The Ethiopians: An Introduction to Country and People 2nd ed., p. 90. Oxford University Press (London), 1965. {{ISBN|0-19-285061-X}}. or 1870, the ruling Sultan of Raheita sold lands surrounding the Bay of Assab to the Rubattino Shipping Company.EB1911, Eritrea, 9, 747, The area served as a coaling station along the shipping lanes introduced by the recently completed Suez Canal. It had long been part of the Ottoman Habesh Eyalet centered in Egypt.EB1911, Egypt/3 History, Egypt: Section III: History, 9, 91–94, The first Italian settlers arrived in 1880.In the vacuum that followed the 1889 death of Emperor Yohannes IV, Gen. Oreste Baratieri occupied the highlands along the Eritrean coast and Italy proclaimed the establishment of the new colony of Italian Eritrea, a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. In the Treaty of Wuchale (It. Uccialli) signed the same year, King Menelik of Shewa, a southern Ethiopian kingdom, recognized the Italian occupation of his rivals' lands of Bogos, Hamasien, Akkele Guzay, and Serae in exchange for guarantees of financial assistance and continuing access to European arms and ammunition. His subsequent victory over his rival kings and enthronement as Emperor Menelek II (r. 1889–1913) made the treaty formally binding upon the entire territory.EB1911, Abyssinia, 1, 94, In 1888, the Italian administration launched its first development projects in the new colony. The Eritrean Railway was completed to Saati in 1888,Olivieri, Emilio (1888) La Ferrovia Massaua-Saati {{webarchive|url= |date=12 October 2013 }} (report on the construction of the Massawa–Saati Railway). Ferrovia Eritrea. {{it icon}} and reached Asmara in the highlands in 1911."Eritrean Railway {{webarchive |url= |date=13 April 2009 }}" at Ferrovia Eritrea. {{it icon}} The Asmara–Massawa Cableway was the longest line in the world during its time, but was later dismantled by the British in World War II. Besides major infrastructural projects, the colonial authorities invested significantly in the agricultural sector. It also oversaw the provision of urban amenities in Asmara and Massawa, and employed many Eritreans in public service, particularly in the police and public works departments. Thousands of Eritreans were concurrently enlisted in the army, serving during the Italo-Turkish War in Libya as well as the First and Second Italo-Abyssinian Wars.Additionally, the Italian Eritrea administration opened a number of new factories, which produced buttons, cooking oil, pasta, construction materials, packing meat, tobacco, hide and other household commodities. In 1939, there were around 2,198 factories and most of the employees were Eritrean citizens. The establishment of industries also made an increase in the number of both Italians and Eritreans residing in the cities. The number of Italians residing in the territory increased from 4,600 to 75,000 in five years; and with the involvement of Eritreans in the industries, trade and fruit plantation was expanded across the nation, while some of the plantations were owned by Eritreans.WEB,weblink Italian administration in Eritrea, Woldeyesus, Winta, Eritrea Ministry of Information, In 1922, Benito Mussolini's rise to power in Italy brought profound changes to the colonial government in Italian Eritrea. After il Duce declared the birth of the Italian Empire in May 1936, Italian Eritrea (enlarged with northern Ethiopia's regions) and Italian Somaliland were merged with the just conquered Ethiopia in the new Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana) administrative territory. This Fascist period was characterized by imperial expansion in the name of a "new Roman Empire". Eritrea was chosen by the Italian government to be the industrial center of Italian East Africa.weblink" title="">ITALIAN INDUSTRIAL ENTERPRISES. dankalia.comAsmara's architecture after 1935 was greatly improved to become a "modernist Art Deco city" (in 2017 has been declared a "UNESCO World City Heritage"WEB,weblink Asmara: A Modernist African City, UNESCO World Heritage Centre,, ), featuring eclectic and rationalist built forms, well-defined open spaces, and public and private buildings, including cinemas, shops, banks, religious structures, public and private offices, industrial facilities, and residences (according to UNESCO's publications). The Italians designed more than 400 buildings in a construction boom that was only halted by Italy's involvement in WW2. These included art deco masterpieces like the worldwide famous Fiat Tagliero Building and the Cinema ImperoWEB,weblink ITALIAN ASMARA, 6 August 2018, Dadfeatured, File:Coat of arms of Eritrea (1919).png|Coat of Arms of Italian EritreaFile:Eritrean Balilla.jpg|Eritrean children vow allegiance to Mussolini's National Fascist Party.File:AsmaraStazione.jpg|An Asmara station on the Eritrean Railway (1938)

British administration

Through the 1941 Battle of Keren, the British expelled the Italians,WEB, Law, Gwillim, Regions of Eritrea,weblink Administrative Divisions of Countries ('Statoids'), 15 August 2011, and took over the administration of the country.The British placed Eritrea under British military administration until Allied forces could determine its fate.In the absence of agreement amongst the Allies concerning the status of Eritrea, British administration continued for the remainder of World War II and until 1950. During the immediate postwar years, the British proposed that Eritrea be divided along religious lines and annexed partly to the British colony of Sudan and partly to Ethiopia.{{Citation needed|date=March 2015}} The Soviet Union, anticipating a communist victory in the Italian polls, initially supported returning Eritrea to Italy under trusteeship or as a colony.{{citation needed|date=July 2019}}

Federation with Ethiopia

In the 1950s, the Ethiopian feudal administration under Emperor Haile Selassie sought to annex Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. He laid claim to both territories in a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Paris Peace Conference and at the First Session of the United Nations.BOOK, Habte Selassie, Bereket, Eritrea and the United Nations, 978-0-932415-12-7, Red Sea Press, 1989, In the United Nations, the debate over the fate of the former Italian colonies continued. The British and Americans preferred to cede all of Eritrea except the Western province to the Ethiopians as a reward for their support during World War II.Top Secret Memorandum of 1949-03-05, written with the UN Third Session in view, from Mr. Rusk to the Secretary of State. The Independence Bloc of Eritrean parties consistently requested from the UN General Assembly that a referendum be held immediately to settle the Eritrean question of sovereignty.File:Eritrean Independence War Map.png|thumb|Eritrean War of IndependenceEritrean War of IndependenceFollowing the adoption of s:United Nations General Assembly Resolution 390|UN Resolution 390A(V)]] in December 1950, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia under the prompting of the United States.WEB, United Nations General Assembly, Eritrea: Report of the United Nations Commission for Eritrea; Report of the Interim Committee of the General Assembly on the Report of the United Nations Commission for Eritrea,weblink 15 August 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 15 November 2012, The resolution called for Eritrea and Ethiopia to be linked through a loose federal structure under the sovereignty of the Emperor. Eritrea was to have its own administrative and judicial structure, its own flag, and control over its domestic affairs, including police, local administration, and taxation. The federal government, which for all practical purposes was the existing imperial government, was to control foreign affairs (including commerce), defense, finance, and transportation. The resolution ignored the wishes of Eritreans for independence, but guaranteed the population democratic rights and a measure of autonomy.


(File:Asmara, mai jah jah 02.JPG|thumb|Asmara, Eritrea in 2015)In 1958, a group of Eritreans founded the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM). The organization mainly consisted of Eritrean students, professionals and intellectuals. It engaged in clandestine political activities intended to cultivate resistance to the centralizing policies of the imperial Ethiopian state.Ofcansky, TP Berry, L (2004) Ethiopia, a country study, Kessinger Publishing, p. 69 On 1 September 1961, the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), under the leadership of Hamid Idris Awate, waged an armed struggle for independence. In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie unilaterally dissolved the Eritrean parliament and annexed the territory. The ensuing Eritrean War for Independence went on for 30 years against successive Ethiopian governments until 1991, when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), a successor of the ELF, defeated the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea and helped a coalition of Ethiopian rebel forces take control of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.Following a UN-supervised referendum in Eritrea (dubbed UNOVER) in which the Eritrean people overwhelmingly voted for independence, Eritrea declared its independence and gained international recognition in 1993.WEB,weblink Eritrea – The spreading revolution, Encyclopædia Britannica, The EPLF seized power, established a one-party state along nationalist lines and banned further political activity. There have been no elections since.


Location and habitat

(File:Un-eritrea.png|thumb|right|Map of Eritrea)Eritrea is located in the Horn of Africa in East Africa. It is bordered to the northeast and east by the Red Sea, Sudan to the west, Ethiopia to the south, and Djibouti to the southeast. Eritrea lies between latitudes 12° and 18°N, and longitudes 36° and 44°E.The country is virtually bisected by a branch of the East African Rift. Eritrea, at the southern end of the Red Sea, is the home of the fork in the rift. The Dahlak Archipelago and its fishing grounds are situated off the sandy and arid coastline.File:Dahlak reliefmap.png|thumb|left|upright|The Dahlak ArchipelagoDahlak ArchipelagoEritrea can be split into three ecoregions. To the east of the highlands are the hot, arid coastal plains stretching down to the southeast of the country. The cooler, more fertile highlands, reaching up to 3000 m, have a different habitat. Habitats here vary from the sub-tropical rainforest at Filfil Solomona to the precipitous cliffs and canyons of the southern highlands.WEB, Eritrea,,weblink The Afar Triangle or Danakil Depression of Eritrea is the probable location of a triple junction where three tectonic plates are pulling away from one another. The highest point of the country, Emba Soira, is located in the center of Eritrea, at {{convert|3018|m|ft|0|sp=us}} above sea level.The main cities of the country are the capital city of Asmara and the port town of Asseb in the southeast, as well as the towns of Massawa to the east, the northern town of Keren, and the central town Mendefera.Eritrea is part of a 14-nation constituency within the Global Environment Facility, which partners with international institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.WEB, Eritrea,weblink Global Environment Facility, 18 July 2016, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 August 2016, Local variability in rainfall patterns and/or reduced precipitation is known to occur, which may precipitate soil erosion, floods, droughts, land degradation and desertification.Environment and Energy | UNDP in Eritrea. Retrieved on 5 June 2016. In 2006, Eritrea also announced that it would become the first country in the world to turn its entire coast into an environmentally protected zone. The {{convert|1,347|km|mi|abbr=on}} coastline, along with another {{convert|1,946|km|mi|abbr=on}} of coast around its more than 350 islands, will come under governmental protection.{{wide image|2006-11-01_Asmara-Massawa_01.jpg|600px|align-cap=center|Highlands between Asmara and Massawa}}{{clear}}


{{see also|List of mammals in Eritrea|List of birds of Eritrea}}File:Eritrean birds - pelicans in Asmara pound.jpg|thumb|Pelicans in a pond near AsmaraAsmaraEritrea has several species of mammals and a rich avifauna of 560 species of birds.WEB,weblink Birdwatching in Eritrea – Birding in Eritrea Homepage,, Anderson, Jason, Abraha, Solomon, Berhane, Dawit, Eritrea is home to an abundant amount of big game species. Enforced regulations have helped in steadily increasing their numbers throughout Eritrea.WEB,weblink Photos of Eritrea's wildlife animals, Madote, Mammals commonly seen today include the Abyssinian hare, African wild cat, Black-backed jackal, African golden wolf, Genet, Ground squirrel, pale fox, Soemmerring's gazelle, warthog. Dorcas gazelle are common on the coastal plains and in Gash-Barka.File:Nymphalidae - Precis pelarga.JPG|thumb|left|A Precis pelargaPrecis pelargaLions are said to inhabit the mountains of the Gash-Barka Region. There is also a small population of African bush elephants that roam in some parts of the country. Dik-diks can also be found in many areas. The endangered African wild ass can be seen in Denakalia Region. Other local wildlife include bushbuck, duikers, greater kudu, Klipspringer, African leopards, oryx and crocodiles.WEB,weblink Wild life in Eritrea page,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 12 November 2014, WEB,weblink Wildlife of Eritrea,, Berhane, Dawit, The spotted hyena is widespread and fairly common. Between 1955 and 2001 there were no reported sightings of elephant herds, and they are thought to have fallen victim to the war of independence. In December 2001 a herd of about 30, including 10 juveniles, was observed in the vicinity of the Gash River. The elephants seemed to have formed a symbiotic relationship with olive baboons, with the baboons using the water holes dug by the elephants, while the elephants use the tree-top baboons as an early warning system.(File:Eri landscape.jpg|thumb|Eritrean landscape near road to Massawa)It is estimated that there are around 100 African bush elephant left in Eritrea, the most northerly of East Africa's elephants.WEB, BBC Wildlife Magazine, July 2003,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 14 March 2006, The rediscovery of Eritrea's elephants, 28 July 2007, The endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) was previously found in Eritrea, but is now deemed extirpated from the entire country.Hogan, C. Michael (31 January 2009) Painted Hunting Dog: Lycaon pictus {{webarchive |url= |date=9 December 2010 }}, In Gash-Barka, snakes like saw-scaled viper are common. Puff adder and red spitting cobra are widespread and can be found even in the highlands. In the coastal areas marine species that are common include dolphin, dugong, whale shark, turtles, marlin, swordfish, and manta ray.


The climate of Eritrea is shaped by its diverse topographical features and its location within the tropics. The diversity in landscape and topography in the highlands and lowlands of Eritrea result in the diversity of climate across the country. The highlands have temperate climate throughout out the year. The climate of most lowland zones is arid and semiarid. The distribution of rainfall and vegetation types varies markedly throughout the country. Eritrean climate varies on the basis of seasonal and altitudinal differences.Based on variations in temperature, Eritrea can be broadly divided into three major climate zones: the temperate zone, subtropical climate zone, and tropical climate zone.BOOK, Tesfagiorgis, Mussie, Eritrea,weblink 29 October 2010, ABC-CLIO, 978-1-59884-232-6, 10–, {{Weather box|location = Eritrea in general, based on 14 cities|metric first = yes|single line = yes|temperature colour = pastel|Jan high C = 27.3|Feb high C = 28.3|Mar high C = 29.8|Apr high C = 32.3|May high C = 33.3|Jun high C = 33|Jul high C = 32|Aug high C = 31.5|Sep high C = 32.3|Oct high C = 31.8|Nov high C = 30|Dec high C = 28.3|year high C = 31|Jan mean C = 20|Feb mean C = 20.8|Mar mean C = 22.5|Apr mean C = 24.3|May mean C = 25.6|Jun mean C = 26|Jul mean C = 25.1|Aug mean C = 24.7|Sep mean C = 24.4|Oct mean C = 23.8|Nov mean C = 22.1|Dec mean C = 20.5|year mean C = 23.3|Jan low C = 17.8|Feb low C = 17.3|Mar low C = 18.3|Apr low C = 21|May low C = 23.3|Jun low C = 24.4|Jul low C = 24.4|Aug low C = 24.5|Sep low C = 23.3|Oct low C = 22.3|Nov low C = 20|Dec low C = 18.3|year low C = 20.8|Jan precipitation mm = 6.7|Feb precipitation mm = 6.9|Mar precipitation mm = 9|Apr precipitation mm = 14.8|May precipitation mm = 20.3|Jun precipitation mm = 26.5|Jul precipitation mm = 100|Aug precipitation mm = 99.7|Sep precipitation mm = 25.4|Oct precipitation mm = 8.6|Nov precipitation mm = 11.9|Dec precipitation mm = 9.4|year precipitation mm = 347|source 1 = weatherbaseWEB,weblink Eritrea average climate, weatherbase, 6 March 2016, |date=March 2016}}

Government and politics

{{advert|section|date=April 2019}}(File:National Assembly of Eritrea.svg|thumb|The National Assembly of Eritrea)(File:Flag of Eritrea.svg|thumb|right|The wreath with the upright olive-branch symbol derived from the 1952 flag, which had a light blue background to honour the United Nations. The green colour in the flag stands for the agriculture and livestock of the country, the blue stands for the sea, and the red for the blood shed in the fight for freedom.)The People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only legal party in Eritrea.NEWS, Country profile: Eritrea,weblink BBC News, 17 June 2008, 1 July 2008, Other political groups are not allowed to organize, although the unimplemented Constitution of 1997 provides for the existence of multi-party politics. The National Assembly has 150 seats. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country. President Isaias Afwerki has been in office since independence in 1993. In 1993, seventy five representatives were elected to the National Assembly; the rest are appointed. As the report by the UN Human Rights Council explained: "No national elections have taken place since that time, and no presidential elections have ever taken place. Local or regional elections have not been held since 2003–2004." President Isaias Afwerki has regularly expressed his disdain for what he refers to as "western-style" democracy. In a 2008 interview with Al Jazeera, for example, the President stated that "Eritrea will wait three or four decades, maybe more, before it holds elections. Who knows?"CONFERENCE,weblink Detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in Eritrea, Human Rights Council, Thirty-second session, Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention, 8 June 2016, A/HRC/32/CRP.1,

National elections

Eritrean National elections were set for 2001 but it was then decided that because 20% of Eritrea's land was under occupation, elections would be postponed until the resolution of the conflict with Ethiopia. However, local elections have continued in Eritrea. The most recent round of local government elections were held in 2010 and 2011. On further elections, the President's Chief of Staff, Yemane Gebremeskel said,Interview of Mr. Brandon Edmonds, Director of the Office of the President of Eritrea, PFDJ (1 April 2004){{cquote|The electoral commission is handling these elections this time round so that may be the new element in this process. The national assembly has also mandated the electoral commission to set the date for national elections, so whenever the electoral commission sets the date there will be national elections. It's not dependent on regional elections.}}As yet, no national elections have been held since independence.


The Eritrean Defence Forces are now the official armed forces of the State of Eritrea. Eritrea's military is one of the largest in Africa.Compulsory military service was instituted in 1995. Officially, conscripts, male and female, must serve for 18 months (although a human rights inquiry stated that it lasts for decades, and sometimes lifeWEB,weblink Hundreds Of Thousands Of People Have Been Enslaved In This African Dictatorship, 8 June 2016, The Huffington Post, 11 June 2016, ), which includes six months of military training and 12 months doing "national reconstruction". Thus around 5% of Eritreans live in barracks in the desert doing projects such as road building as part of their service. After regular service, reservists with skills, such as teachers, may be forced to work as professionals anywhere.The National Service Proclamation of 1995 does not recognize the right to conscientious objection to military service. According to the 1957 Ethiopian penal code adopted by Eritrea during independence, failure to enlist in the military or refusal to perform military service are punishable with imprisonment terms of six months to five years and up to ten years, respectively.WEB, Eritrea,weblink War Resisters' International, 19 December 2017, National service enlistment times may be extended during times of "national crisis"; since 1998, everyone under the age of 50 is enlisted in national service for an indefinite period until released, which may depend on the arbitrary decision of a commander. In a study of 200 escaped conscripts, the average service was 6.5 years, and some had served more than 12 years.

Legal profession

According to the NYU School of Law, the Legal Committee of the Ministry of Justice oversees the admission and requirements to practice law in Eritrea. Although the establishment of an independent bar association is not proscribed under Proclamation 88/96, among other domestic laws, there is no bar association. The community electorate in the local jurisdiction of the Community Court chooses the Court's judges. The Community Court's standing on women in the legal profession is unclear, but elected women judges have reserved seat.WEB,weblink UPDATE: Introduction to Eritrean Legal System and Research, GlobaLex, New York University School of Law, 27 December 2017,

Foreign relations News Photo 021210-D-2987S-057.jpg|thumb|President Isaias Afewerki with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald RumsfeldDonald RumsfeldEritrea is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, and is an observing member of the Arab League. The nation holds a seat on the United Nations' Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). Eritrea also holds memberships in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Finance Corporation, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Permanent Court of Arbitration, Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa, and the World Customs Organization.The Eritrean government previously withdrew its representative to the African Union to protest the AU's alleged lack of leadership in facilitating the implementation of a binding border decision demarcating the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Eritrean government has since January 2011 appointed an envoy, Tesfa-Alem Tekle, to the AU.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 24 February 2011, Tekle, Tesfa-Alem, 20 January 2011, Eritrea appoints AU envoy in Ethiopia – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan, Sudan Tribune, 17 July 2011, Eritrea maintains diplomatic ties with a number of other countries, including China, Denmark, Djibouti, Israel, the United States and Yemen. There are approximately 60,000 African refugees in Israel, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea.NEWS,weblink Israel to jail illegal migrants for up to 3 years, Reuters, 3 June 2012, Its relations with Djibouti and Yemen are tense due to territorial disputes over the Doumeira Islands and Hanish Islands, respectively.On 28 May 2019, the United States removed Eritrea from the "Counterterror Non-Cooperation List" which also includes: Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.NEWS,weblink US Removing Eritrea from Counterterror Non-Cooperation List, VOA News, 28 May 2019, Moreover, Eritrea was visited two months earlier by a US congressional delegation for the first time in 14 years.NEWS,weblink 1st US Congressional Delegation in 14 Years Visits Eritrea, VOA News, 4 March 2019,

Relations with Ethiopia

{{see also|Eritrea–Ethiopia relations|Eritrean–Ethiopian War}}{{further|Eritrean War of Independence|Eritrean independence referendum, 1993}}File:Independence Day of Eritrea.jpg|thumb|The Independence Day of Eritrea is one of the most important public holidays in the country.]]The undemarcated border with Ethiopia is the primary external issue currently facing Eritrea. Eritrea's relations with Ethiopia turned from that of cautious mutual tolerance, following the 30-year war for Eritrean independence, to a deadly rivalry that led to the outbreak of hostilities from May 1998 to June 2000 which claimed approximately 70,000 lives from both sides."Ethiopian raid on Eritrean bases raises fears of renewed conflict". The Guardian. 16 March 2012. The border conflict cost hundreds of millions of dollars.Will arms ban slow war? BBC. 18 May 2000Disagreements following the war have resulted in stalemate punctuated by periods of elevated tension and renewed threats of war.NEWS,weblink Horn tensions trigger UN warning, BBC, 4 February 2004, 7 June 2006, NEWS,weblink Army build-up near Horn frontier, BBC, 2 November 2005, 7 June 2006, NEWS,weblink Horn border tense before deadline, BBC, 23 December 2005, 7 June 2006, The stalemate led the President of Eritrea to urge the UN to take action on Ethiopia with the s:Eleven Letters|Eleven Letters]] penned by the President to the United Nations Security Council. The situation has been further escalated by the continued efforts of the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders in supporting opposition in one another's countries.{{Citation needed|date=August 2011}} In 2011, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of planting bombs at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, which was later supported by a UN report. Eritrea denied the claims.WEB,weblink Eritrea planned massive bomb attack on African Union summit, UN says, Rice, Xan, The Guardian, 28 July 2011, 28 July 2011, A peace treaty between both nations was signed on 8 July 2018.NEWS,weblink Leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea hug and make up, CBC News, CBC, July 8, 2018, July 9, 2018, The next day, they signed a joint declaration formally ending the Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict.WEB, Ethiopia's Abiy and Eritrea's Afewerki declare end of war,weblink BBC, 9 July 2018, WEB, Ethiopia, Eritrea officially end war,weblink Deutsche Welle, 9 July 2018,

Administrative divisions

Eritrea is divided into six administrative regions. These areas are further divided into 58 districts.(File:A map of Eritrea regions.png|thumb|upright=2|A map of Eritrea regions){| class="wikitable sortable"|+ Regions of Eritrea! Region! Area (km2)! Population! CapitalCentral Region (Eritrea)>Central| 1,300| 1,053,254| AsmaraAnseba Region>Anseba| 23,200| 893,587Keren, Eritrea>KerenGash-Barka Region>Gash-Barka| 33,200| 1,103,742Barentu, Eritrea>BarentuSouthern Region (Eritrea)>Southern| 8,000| 1,476,765| MendeferaNorthern Red Sea Region>Northern Red Sea| 27,800| 897,454| MassawaSouthern Red Sea Region>Southern Red Sea| 27,600| 398,073| AssabThe regions of Eritrea are the primary geographical divisions through which the country is administered. Six in total, they include the Maekel/Central, Anseba, Gash-Barka, Debub/Southern, Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions. At the time of independence in 1993, Eritrea was arranged into ten provinces. These provinces were similar to the nine provinces operating during the colonial period. In 1996, these were consolidated into six regions (zobas). The boundaries of these new regions are based on catchment basins.{{clear}}

Largest cities

{{Largest cities of Eritrea}}


{{unreferenced section|date=May 2018}}(File:Eritrean mountai road archietcture.jpg|thumb|upright=1.25|right|Eritrea mountain road)Transport in Eritrea includes highways, airports and seaports, in addition to various forms of public and private vehicular, maritime and aerial transportation. A railway formerly ran from Massawa to Bishia via Asmara, and is under re-construction.As of 1999, there was a total of 317 kilometres of {{Track gauge|950 mm}} (narrow gauge) rail line in Eritrea. The railway links Agordat and Asmara with the port of Massawa; however, it had been inoperative since 1978 except for about a 5 kilometre stretch that was reopened in Massawa in 1994. Rehabilitation of the remainder and of the rolling stock has occurred in recent years. By 2003, the line had been restored from Massawa all the way through to Asmara.The Eritrean highway system is named according to the road classification. The three levels of classification are: primary (P), secondary (S), and tertiary (T). The lowest level road is tertiary and serves local interests. Typically they are improved earth roads which are occasionally paved. During the wet seasons these roads typically become impassable.The next higher level road is a secondary road and typically is a single-layered asphalt road that connects district capitals together and those to the regional capitals. Roads that are considered primary roads are those that are fully asphalted (throughout their entire length) and in general they carry traffic between all the major cities and towns in Eritrea.The Eritrean Railway was built between 1887 and 1932, and formerly ran from Massawa to Bishia via Asmara. Badly damaged during WWII and in later fighting, it was closed section by section, with the final closure coming in 1978. After independence, a rebuilding effort commenced, and the first rebuilt section was reopened in 2003. As of 2009, the section from Massawa to Asmara was fully rebuilt and available for service. Current service is very limited due to the extreme age of most of the railway equipment and its limited availability. Further rebuilding is planned.


(File:En visualize explore tree map hs92 export eri all show 2013 (4).png|thumb|upright=1.25|Eritrea's main exports, 2013)The economy of Eritrea has experienced considerable growth in recent years, indicated by an improvement in gross domestic product (GDP) in October 2012 of 7.5% over 2011.Report for Selected Countries and Subjects: Eritrea. (14 September 2006). Retrieved 20 September 2013. A big reason for the recent growth of the Eritrean economy is the commencement of full operations in the gold and silver Bisha mine and the production of cement from the cement factory in Massawa.WEB,weblink Eritrea Economic Outlook – African Development Bank,, 30 December 2013, File:Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767-300ER E3-AAO FCO 2005-6-7.png|thumb|left|An Eritrean Airlines Boeing 767-366/ER aircraft. The national carrier is based in AsmaraAsmaraThe real GDP (2009 est.): $1.8 billion, and the annual growth rate (2011 est.):14%.Eritrea Overview. World (19 October 2012). Retrieved 20 September 2013.WEB,weblink Eritrea,, 9 March 2011, 6 August 2012, Worker remittances from abroad are estimated to account for 32% of gross domestic product. Eritrea has an extensive amount of resources such as copper, gold, granite, marble, and potash. The Eritrean economy has undergone extreme changes due to the War of Independence. In 2011, Eritrea's GDP grew by 8.7% making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world.Kirkby, Daniela. Eritrea: Africa's Economic Success Story {{webarchive|url= |date=29 January 2013 }}. Retrieved 20 September 2013.80% of the Eritrean workforce are employed in agriculture.Jordan, Ray (18 March 2016) "Eritrea – Farming in a fragile land", Huffington Post. Eritrea's main agricultural products include sorghum, millet, barley, wheat, legumes, vegetables, fruits, sesame, linseed, cattle, sheep, goats and camels."FAO country profile: Eritrea", The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006.File:Massawa Highway (8527952867).jpg|thumb|The Massawa-Asmara Highway, built as part of the Wefri Warsay Yika'aloWefri Warsay Yika'aloThe Eritrean–Ethiopian War severely hurt Eritrea's economy. GDP growth in 1999 fell to less than 1%, and GDP decreased by 8.2% in 2000. In May 2000, the war resulted in some $600 million in property damage and loss, including losses of $225 million in livestock and 55,000 homes.Even during the war, Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure by asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war-damaged roads and bridges as a part of the Wefri Warsay Yika'alo program. The most significant of these projects was the construction of a coastal highway of more than 500 km connecting Massawa with Asseb, as well as the rehabilitation of the Eritrean Railway. The rail line has been restored between the port of Massawa and the capital Asmara, although services are sporadic. Steam locomotives are sometimes used for groups of enthusiasts.In theory, Eritrea has a national carrier, Eritrean Airlines, but services are intermittent.


File:Traditional Eritrean dance.jpg|thumb|upright|Tigrinyan women performing a traditional dance]]Eritrea's population increased from 3.2 million to {{#expr:{{formatnum:{{UN_Population|Eritrea}}|R}}/1e6 round 1}} million between 1990 and {{UN_Population|Year}}.{{UN_Population|ref}} The average number of children born to Eritrean mothers is 4.7."Fertility rate, total (births per woman)". World Bank.{|class="wikitable" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px"ref}}! scope="col" style="background:#cfb;"|Year! scope="col" style="background:#cfb;"|Million1.13.4Year}} style="text-align:right;"Eritrea}}|R}}/1e6 round 1}}

Ethnic composition

There are nine recognized ethnic groups according to the government of Eritrea.WEB,weblink Eritrean Culture " Embassy of The State of Eritrea,, 30 December 2013, Eritrean society is ethnically heterogeneous.An independent census has yet to be conducted, but the Tigrinya people make up about 55% and Tigre people make up about 30% of the population. A majority of the remaining ethnic groups belong to Afroasiatic-speaking communities of the Cushitic branch, such as the Saho, Hedareb, Afar and Bilen. There are also a number of Nilotic ethnic minorities, who are represented in Eritrea by the Kunama and Nara. Each ethnicity speaks a different native tongue but, typically, many of the minorities speak more than one language.The Rashaida represent about 2% of Eritrea's population. They reside in the northern coastal lowlands of Eritrea as well as the eastern coasts of Sudan. The Rashaida first came to Eritrea in the 19th century from the Hejaz region.WEB, Alders, Anne,weblink the Rashaida, 7 June 2006, In addition, there exist Italian Eritrean (concentrated in Asmara) and Ethiopian Tigrayan communities. Neither is generally given citizenship unless through marriage or, more rarely, by having it conferred upon them by the State. Eritrea had about 760,000 inhabitants, including 70,000 Italians, in 1941.BOOK, Tesfagiorgis, Gebre Hiwet, Emergent Eritrea: challenges of economic development,weblink The Red Sea Press, 1993, 111, 978-0-932415-91-2, Most Italians left after Eritrea became independent from Italy. It is estimated up to 100,000 Eritreans are of Italian descent.The Italian Ambassador stated at the 2008 Film Festival in Asmara weblink {{Webarchive|url= |date=18 February 2012 }} that nearly 100,000 Eritreans in 2008 have Italian blood, because they have at least one grandfather or great-grandfather from ItalyWEB, Stampato C. 5634,weblink, 20 May 2019, Italian,


File:Eritrean Women.jpeg|thumb|Saho women in traditional attire]]Eritrea is a multilingual country. The nation has no official language, as the Constitution establishes the "equality of all Eritrean languages".WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 3 May 2011, Constitution of the State of Eritrea,, 2 May 2010, Tigrinya, Arabic, and English serve as de facto working languages, with the latter used in university education and many technical fields. While Italian, the former colonial language, holds no government recognized status in Eritrea, it is spoken by a few monolinguals and Asmara has Scuola Italiana di Asmara, a long running Italian government-operated school.WEB, Eritrea – Languages,weblink Ethnologue, 13 October 2016, Also, native Eritreans assimilated the language of the Italian Eritreans and spoke a version of the Italian mixed with many Tigrinya words: the Eritrean Italian.WEB,weblink Italiano e dialetti fuori d'Italia, it, Italian and dialects out of Italy,, 2019-05-17, Tigrinya serves as the de facto language of national identity. With 2,540,000 total speakers of a population of 5,254,000 in 2006, it is the most widely spoken language, particularly in the southern and central parts of Eritrea. Other major national languages include Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Saho and Tigre.Most of the languages spoken in Eritrea belong to the Ethiopian Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family.BOOK, Minahan, James, Miniature empires: a historical dictionary of the newly independent states, 1998, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-30610-5, 76,weblink The majority of the Eritreans speak Ethiopian Semitic languages, mainly Tigrinya language, Tigrinya and Tigre language, Tigre, other languages belongs to Cushitic languages of the Afroasiatic language group. The Kunama, and other groups in the north and northwest speak Nilotic languages., Other Afroasiatic languages belonging to the Cushitic branch are also widely spoken in the country. The latter include Afar, Beja, Blin, and Saho. Smaller groups also speak other Afroasiatic languages, such as the newly recognized Dahlik and Arabic (the Hejazi and Hadhrami dialects spoken by the Rashaida and Hadhrami, respectively).In addition, Nilo-Saharan languages (Kunama and Nara) are spoken as a native language by the Nilotic Kunama and Nara ethnic minority groups that live in the northern and northwestern part of the country.


{| class="wikitable floatright"|+ Eritrea religious groups! U.S Department of State 2011WEB,weblink Eritrea, U.S. State Department, !! Pew Research Center 2010WEB, Religious Composition by Country, 2010-2050,weblink Pew Research Center, 26 October 2017, |{{bar box|left1=Religion|right1=Percent|bars={{bar percent|Christianity|purple|50}}{{bar percent|Islam|yellow|48}}{{bar percent|Others|brown|2}}}}{{bar box|left1=Religion|right1=Percent|bars={{bar percent|Christianity|purple|63}}{{bar percent|Islam|yellow|36}}{{bar percent|Others|brown|1}}}}According to the Pew Research Center, {{as of|2010|lc=y}}, 62.9% of the population of Eritrea adheres to Christianity, 36.6% follows Islam, and 0.4% practices folk religion. The remainder observes Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other faiths (

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