The Eritrea Portal

Eritrean Coat of Arms
Flag of Eritrea
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Eritrea (/ˌɛrɪˈtr.ə, -ˈtr-/) (listen), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa region of Eastern Africa, with its capital and largest city at Asmara. It is bordered by Ethiopia in the south, Sudan in the west, 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 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands.

Human remains found in Eritrea have been dated to 1 million years old and anthropological research indicates that the area may contain significant records related to the evolution of humans. Contemporary Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country with nine recognised ethnic groups. Nine different languages are spoken by the nine recognised ethnic groups, the most widely spoken language being Tigrinya, the others being Tigre, Saho, Kunama, Nara, Afar, Beja, Bilen and Arabic. 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 several Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic groups. Most people in the country adhere to Christianity or Islam, with a small minority adhering to traditional faiths.

Eritrea is a unitary one-party presidential republic in which national legislative and presidential elections have never been held. Isaias Afwerki has served as president since its official independence in 1993. 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. Freedom of the press in Eritrea is extremely limited; the Press Freedom Index consistently ranks it as one of the least free countries. As of 2021 Reporters Without Borders considers the country to have the overall worst press freedom in the world, even lower than North Korea, as all media publications and access are heavily controlled by the government.

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 alongside Brazil and Venezuela. (Full article...)

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Eritrean Airlines (Tigrinya: መገዲ ኣየር ኤርትራ, romanized: Magadi ʼĀyar ʼÉretrā; Arabic: الخطوط الجوية الإريترية) is the national airline of Eritrea. Based at Asmara International Airport, it is wholly owned by the government of Eritrea. Scheduled service had been discontinued since 2008, and the airline operated only a few hajj flights every year. The airline was restarted under new management in 2011. In 2011, Nasair, a privately owned company, merged with government-owned Eritrean Airlines, to form Nasair Eritrea. Eritrean Airlines has been banned from flying into the European Union (EU) since December 2012. (Full article...)

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Credit: Charles Fred
A group of men in Agordat, Eritrea

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Zersenay Tadese in 2009


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Credit: Hansueli Krapf
The Eritrean capital city of Asmara in 2006

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