The Eritrea Portal

Eritrean Coat of Arms
Flag of Eritrea
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Eritrea (/ˌɛrɪˈtrə, ˌɛrɪˈtrə/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in Eastern Africa, with its capital 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.

Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around five and a half million. Eritrea has nine national languages which are Tigrinya language, Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, Saho. 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 a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic groups. Most people in the territory adhere to Christianity or Islam, with a small minority adhering to traditional faiths.

Eritrea is a totalitarian one-party dictatorship in which national legislative and presidential elections have never been held since independence. 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. The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods (6.5 years on average), which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid. Because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was also ranked as having the third-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind North Korea and Turkmenistan.

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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Zersenay at the 2009 World Championships

Zersenay Tadese[nb] (Tigrinya: ዘርእሰናይ ታደሰ; born 8 February 1982) is an Eritrean long-distance track and road running athlete. He held the men's half marathon world record from 2010 to 2018. His bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2004 Athens Olympics made him the first ever Eritrean Olympic medallist, and his 20-km title at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships also made him the country's first athlete to win at a world championship event. He does not use a sprint finish to win races; his strategy relies on a combination of efficient running and fast pace setting.

Zersenay ("Tadese" is his father's name) has found most of his success in the half marathon, with four consecutive victories in the World Half Marathon Championships from 2006 to 2009 (with a 2006 20km edition), a silver medal in 2010 and a fifth title in 2012. His 5 titles are a record. He set a world record at the Lisbon Half Marathon in 2010. (Full article...)

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Credit: Hansueli Krapf
Mountains between the Eritrean capital city of Asmara and the city of Massawa

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