short form: Ertra
int’l long form: State of Eritrea
int’l short form: Eritrea
former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia.
ISO Country Code: er
Local Time = UTC +3h
Country Calling Code: +291
Capital City: Asmara
(2,300 meters (7,500 ft.) above sea level; pop. 435 000)
Keren (57,000); Assab (28,000); Massawa (25,000); Afabet (25,000); Tessenie (25,000); Mendefera (25,000); Dekemhare (20,000); Adekeieh (15,000); Barentu (15,000); Ghinda (15,000).
Ssingle-party presidential republic.
In 2004 the U.S. State Department declared Eritrea a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its alleged record of religious persecution.
Independence: Eritrea officially celebrated its independence on May 24, 1993 (from Ethiopia)
Constitution: Ratified 24 May 1997, but not yet implemented.
Location: Eastern Africa, in the Horn of Africa bordering the Red Sea in northeast.
Area: 117,600 km². (45,405 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Central highlands straddle escarpment associated with Rift Valley, dry coastal plains, and western lowlands.
Climate: Temperate in the mountains and hot in the lowlands, hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast;.
Nationality: Noun and adjective–Eritrean(s).
Population: 5.9 million (about 1 million Eritreans in exile).
Ethnic Groups: Tigrinya 50%, Tigre 31.4%, Saho 5%, Afar 5%, Beja 2.5%, Bilen 2.1%, Kunama 2%, Nara 1.5%, and Rashaida .5%.
Religions: Christian 50% (mostly Orthodox), Muslim 48%, indigenous beliefs 2%
Languages: Tigrinya (Tigrigna), Arabic, English, Tigré (second major language) and other Cushitic languages.
Natural resources: Gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish.
Agriculture products: Sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal; livestock, goats; fish.
Industries: Food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles.
Currency: Nakfa (ERN)
Eritrea in Figures
More Eritrea statistical data.
Eritrea is located in Eastern Africa in the Horn of Africa, to the North of Ethiopia and bordering the Red Sea in Northeast. It has a mixed Afro-Asiatic population that is divided by religion and language. The former Italian and British colony gained formal independence from Ethiopia, its last colonizer, in 1993. But independence did not end the wars in Eritrea. Conflicts with Yemen and Ethiopia followed.
Latest UN reports (2005) warned that the humanitarian situation in Eritrea was deteriorating, mainly due to recurrent drought and the protracted stalemate in the peace process with Ethiopia.
Eritrea is run by the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) with president Isaias Afewerki, who has been in office since independence in 1993. Other political groups are not allowed to organize, although the unimplemented constitution of 1997 provides for the existence of multi-party politics. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country.
border countries: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan
related countries: Egypt, Italy, Turkey, UK, Yemen