State of Eritrea
Capital: Asmara Nationality: Eritrean Population: 5,939,484
Currency: nakfa (ERN) Off. Lang: Tigrinya/Arabic/English Area: 117,600 sq km
Internet DM: er GDP: $3.978 bil Life Exp: 62.52 yrs
Literacy: 58.6% Location: 15 00 N, 39 00 E Calling Code: 291

Eritrea(ˌɛrɪˈtreɪə) is an east African country bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, with a location of 15 00 N, 39 00 E. The country
occupies a total area of 117,600 sq km.The capital is Asmara. Tigrinya, Arabic, and English are all official languages.


Eritrea has a population of 5,939,484, with a life expectancy of 62.52 years. Nine ethnic groups are recognized. The ethnic breakdown is 55% Tigrinya , 30% Tigre, 4% Saho, 2% Kunama, 2% Rashaida, 2% Bilen, and Afar, Beni Amir, Nera which comprise 5% of the rest of the population. Religiously, Eritrea is 50% Muslim, 48% Christian of which 40% is Eritrean Orthodox, 5% is Roman Catholic, and 2% is Protestant. 2% hold on to traditional beliefs.69.9% of males and 47.6% of females are literate.


 Index  Value
 Mo Ibrahim Governance Index  28.3(2014)
 Corruption Perception Index  18(2014)
 Ease of Doing Business  189(2014)
 Human Development Index  .381(2014)
 World Press Freedom  84.86(2015)


Eritrea and northern Ethiopia were the site of ancient Aksum, which prospered by dominating trade on the Red Sea, in the 1st millennium A.D. The port of Adulis was a major commercial center. The prophet Muhammad took refuge in Aksum from his enemies. Due to environmental degradation and diminished Red Sea trade, the kingdom moved inward to Ethiopia.

Eritrea had its beginnings in 1890, when Italy cut the territory and took over the region in the Scramble for Africa. The region was claimed by Ethiopia. In World War II, the British took over the region. In 1952, the United Nation made Eritrea an autonomous state in Ethiopia, despite the fact that Eritrea filed for independence. Ethiopia proceeded to quell all nationalist sentiments in the region,by requiring Amharic to be used and the banning of the public display of the Eritrean flag. 

In 1961,  the Eritrean Liberation Front(ELF) founded in 1958, filed for independence from Ethiopia. The war with Ethiopia was long and costly in human life. Drought also hit Eritrea on several occasions. During the 70s, there was much division within the ELF, that culminated in the founding of the more unified EPLF(Eritrean People Liberation Front). During the 80s EPLF began to gain the upper hand with Ethiopian forces occupying the main cities. In 1991, EPLF captured Asmara. In 1993, EPLF held a referendum on independence. The votes were unanimous for independence. On May 28, 1993, Eritrea was admitted as a member of the United Nations.

After independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea endured diplomatic friction and conflict with Sudan, Yemen, and Ethiopia. Friction between Eritrea and Sudan surfaced, with Sudan first accusing Eritrea of attempting an invasion by lending support to Sudanese rebels. Later, Eritrea accused Sudan of invasion. By December of 1994, both countries severed political ties. Eritrea later invaded the island of Hanish, sparking a brief exchange with Yemen, who claimed the island. In 1998, both countries agreed to bring the issue under arbitration, with the arbitration body awarding the island to Yemen. Also in 1998, having not agreed on border territories after independence, armed conflict broke out with Ethiopia, with thousands of troops perishing. In June 2000, both countries declared a ceasefire and in December establish a commission to map out the border.

Works Cited

Maxon, Robert M. Eritrea. Microsoft® Encarta® 2006 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005.