Eritrea, officially the State of Eritrea, is a state in East
Africa on the Red Sea coast in the Horn of Africa. The capital and
largest city is Asmara.
It borders Sudan to the west, Ethiopia to the south, and Djibouti to the east. It has an area of 117,600 km².
Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country with a population of approximately six million, made up of nine recognized ethnic groups.
The majority of the population are Tigray (55% of the population) and Tigre (30% of the population). In addition, there are a number of ethnic minorities. Most of the people in the territory adhere to Christianity or Islam.
Modern Eritrea was created by incorporating independent, separate kingdoms and sultanates (for example, Medri Bahr and Aussa, which ultimately led to the formation of Italian Eritrea. In 1947, Eritrea became part of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, which was liquidated in 1962. As a result of the war for Independence of Eritrea was held in a referendum in April 1993, in which 99.83% of citizens voted for the independence of Eritrea.Fighting between Eritrea and Ethiopia continued, which led to the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict of 1998-2000 and subsequent skirmishes with Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed. According to Human Rights Watch, a human rights organization, the Eritrean government is considered one of the worst in the world. The Eritrean government called these allegations politicized. Due to compulsory military service, for which citizens are called up for an indefinite period, some Eritreans leave the country. Since all local media is owned by the state, Eritrea also ranks as the country with the lowest level of press freedom in the Press Freedom Index. Eritrea is one of the few countries in Africa (along with Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa) where there has never been a coup.
Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, and IGAD, and is also an observer in the Arab League along with Brazil, Venezuela, India, and Turkey.
The toponym "Eritrea" (ancient Greek Ἐρυθραία) existed in antiquity, then it referred to the coast of the Red Sea in the understanding of the ancients, that is, including also the coastal part of the Arabian Peninsula. As the name of the state entity, it was used by Italy in 1890 for its colony - Italian Eritrea. The state, formed in 1993, inherited this name. The etymology, apparently, goes back to the Latin name of the Red Sea (lat. Mare Erythraeum, from other Greek ἐρυθρός - “red”), although there is a point of view that it may also come from the color of the soil.
The territory of Eritrea was part of the Aksumite kingdom, and later the Ethiopian state. In the 16th century, the port of Massawa fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and in 1868 the Turkish Sultan transferred control of it to Egypt.
Since 1882, colonization by Italy began (the ports of Assab and Massawa). On January 1, 1890, the colony of Eritrea (from the name of the Red Sea in Greek) was proclaimed. In 1895, the First Italo-Ethiopian War began, ending in 1896 with a peace treaty that determined the boundaries of the colony.
Eritrea was under Italian rule until the defeat of the Italians (in Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea) by British forces during World War II, in the spring of 1941. After that, it was controlled by the British military administration until 1952, when it entered the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In 1962, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie abolished the country's federal structure, which significantly increased the separatist tendencies in the region. A year earlier, a group of Eritrean nationalists led by Hamid Awate launched the Eritrean War of Independence, which lasted more than 30 years with varying intensity, especially after the seizure of power in Ethiopia by a group of officers led by Mengistu Haile Mariam. The resistance movement achieved its most significant successes during the Ogaden War, successfully using the employment of the Ethiopian army in the war against Somalia and Muslim rebels.
In the late 1980s, in the context of the general crisis of the Ethiopian socialist state, the Eritrean rebels not only took control of most of the territory of Eritrea, but also actively supported the actions of the rebel RDFEN, whose leader was Meles Zenawi. In 1991, the rebels entered Addis Ababa, Zenawi became the president of Ethiopia, and 2 years later, after a referendum, the independence of Eritrea was proclaimed.
From 1993 to the present, the country has been led by a group of veterans of the War of Independence, headed by Isaias Afwerki, who has concentrated all branches of power in the person of the only legal party in the country, the PFDZ. The country's leaders systematically reject proposals to democratize political life and hold elections on the pretext that the country's economic base is weak and other priorities exist. International human rights organizations regularly criticize the state of affairs in the country and give low marks to the situation with human rights, freedom of the press in Eritrea, etc.
In 1995, Eritrea disputed the ownership of the Hanish Islands with Yemen. As a result, an armed conflict broke out between the states, in which neither side managed to achieve military success, but the diplomatic victory was more likely for Yemen.
In 1998, a new war began with Ethiopia over disputed territories, during which tens of thousands of soldiers died on both sides. The war caused enormous economic and social upheaval, leaving in its wake a devastated economy as well as vast areas of land mined. The country signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 2002. The war ended in 2000 with the defeat of Eritrea and the conclusion of a peace treaty, according to which UN peacekeeping forces should monitor the observance of the ceasefire.
Since 2008, armed formations of the Ethiopian anti-government rebels Ginbot 7, led by Berhanu Nega, have been based in Eritrea.
Since 2006, Eritrea has been actively helping the Somali Islamic Courts Union and its allies, according to the Somali government and the IGAD regional bloc. Eritrea supplied the rebels with weapons and money, provided shelter and political space for Islamic fundamentalists and militants, Eritrean "volunteers" participated in the Civil War in Somalia. According to the Government of Somalia, the main motive for such a strategy is Ethiopia's support for the government of Abdullahi Yusuf. However, President Isaias Afwerki denies everything, arguing that such accusations are the machinations of CIA agents seeking to denigrate the bright image of Eritrea.
From 10 to 13 June 2008, Eritrea was at war with Djibouti.
On December 23, 2009, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Eritrea - an arms embargo on Eritrea, this decision was supported by all permanent members of the Security Council, except for China, which abstained. In addition, Eritrean leaders are banned from entering UN member states and have their foreign bank accounts frozen. Eritrea's support for Islamic militants in Somalia and the border conflict with Djibouti were cited as the reason for the embargo.
On September 16, 2018, Eritrea signed a peace treaty with Ethiopia at a government meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Since November 9, 2020, Eritrea has been taking part in the Tigray war on the side of Ethiopia, which is officially denied by the country's president.
Eritrea is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders on Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan, in the east it is washed by the Red Sea. Most of the country lies on the Eritrean Plateau of the Ethiopian Highlands. In the southeast is the Afar depression. The area of the territory is 117.6 thousand km², including the island part of Eritrea - about 1.3 thousand km². The capital is the city of Asmara.
The rivers of Eritrea are seasonal and do not have a permanent flow (with the exception of Tekase); belong to the basin of the Nile, the Red Sea or the area of inland flow. The four largest in the country are Takaze, Marab, Baraka and Anseba.
Two national parks: Dahlak Marin and Semenavi Bahri.
The world of animals and birds is quite rich: olive baboon, gazelles, ostriches, lions, elephants, large and small kudu, mountain goats, leopards, monkeys, duikers, African warthogs, buffaloes, hippos, hyenas, porcupines, hares, wild boars, crocodiles, rhinos , rodents, snakes, turtles, jackals, vultures, eagles, marabou, many species of local and migratory birds and others. In the region of the Dahlak archipelago, there are 250 species of fish, including Mediterranean ones.