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Eritrea

Population: 6 380 803

GDP: 3 438 000 000.00 $

Description

 

After independence from Italian colonial control in 1941 and 10 years of British administrative control, the UN established Eritrea as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952. Ethiopia's full annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a violent 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating government forces.

 

 

Eritreans overwhelmingly approved independence in a 1993 referendum. Isaias Afworki has been Eritrea's only president since independence; his rule, particularly since 2001, has been highly autocratic and repressive. His government has created a highly militarized society by pursuing an unpopular program of mandatory conscription into national service, sometimes of indefinite length.

 

 

A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. A UN peacekeeping operation was established that monitored a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) created in April 2003 was tasked "to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902, and 1908) and applicable international law." The EEBC on 30 November 2007 remotely demarcated the border, assigning the town of Badme to Eritrea, despite Ethiopia's maintaining forces there from the time of the 1998-2000 war. Eritrea insisted that the UN terminate its peacekeeping mission on 31 July 2008.

 

 

Eritrea has accepted the EEBC's "virtual demarcation" decision and repeatedly called on Ethiopia to remove its troops. Ethiopia has not accepted the demarcation decision, and neither party has entered into meaningful dialogue to resolve the impasse. Eritrea is subject to several UN Security Council Resolutions (from 2009, 2011, and 2012) imposing various military and economic sanctions, in view of evidence that it has supported armed opposition groups in the region.

Population

 

Population: 6,380,803 (2014)

 

Nationality: noun: Eritrean(s) adjective: Eritrean

 

Ethnic groups: nine recognized ethnic groups: Tigrinya 55%, Tigre 30%, Saho 4%, Kunama 2%, Rashaida 2%, Bilen 2%, other (Afar, Beni Amir, Nera) 5%

 

Languages: Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages

 

Religions: Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

GDP

 

GDP: $ 3 438 000 000.00 (2013)

Military Organization

 

Eritrean Armed Forces: Eritrean Ground Forces, Eritrean Navy, Eritrean Air Force (includes Air Defense Force).

Conflicts and Disputes

 

Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting eastern Sudanese rebel groups; in 2008 Eritrean troops moved across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupied Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea.

Geographical Information and Map

 

Capital: Asmara (Asmera).

 

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan. Strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993.

 

Geographic coordinates:

15 00 N, 39 00 E.

 

Area:

total: 117,600 sq km

land: 101,000 sq km

water: 16,600 sq km.

 

Land boundaries:

total: 1,840 km

border countries: Djibouti 125 km, Ethiopia 1,033 km, Sudan 682 km.

 

Coastline: 2,234 km (mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km).

 

Natural resources: gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish.