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Eritrea definitions

Flags of the World

Flag of Eritrea

CIA World Factbook, 2008

Eritrea was awarded to Ethiopia in 1952 as part of a federation. Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating governmental forces; independence was overwhelmingly approved in a 1993 referendum. A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. Eritrea currently hosts a UN peacekeeping operation that is monitoring a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone on the border with Ethiopia. An international commission, organized to resolve the border dispute, posted its findings in 2002. However, both parties have been unable to reach agreement on implementing the decision. On 30 November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission remotely demarcated the border by coordinates and dissolved itself, leaving Ethiopian still occupying several tracts of disputed territory, including the town of Badme. Eritrea rejected the EEBC's action and continues to call for physical demarcation on the ground.

total: 121,320 sq km land: 121,320 sq km water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative
total: 1,626 km border countries: Djibouti 109 km, Ethiopia 912 km, Sudan 605 km

territorial sea: 12 nm

lowest point: near Kulul within the Denakil depression -75 m highest point: Soira 3,018 m

Natural resources
arable land: 4.78% permanent crops: 0.03% other: 95.19% (2005)

Irrigated land
Total: 0.3 cu km/yr (3%/0%/97%) Per capita: 68 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note
0-14 years: 43.5% (male 1,073,404/female 1,060,674) 15-64 years: 52.9% (male 1,286,613/female 1,310,294) 65 years and over: 3.6% (male 85,052/female 90,548) (2007 est.)

Median age
total: 17.9 years male: 17.7 years female: 18.2 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.012 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.982 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.939 male(s)/female total population: 0.993 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate
total: 45.24 deaths/1,000 live births male: 51.05 deaths/1,000 live births female: 39.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 59.55 years male: 57.88 years female: 61.28 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate
degree of risk: high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne disease: malaria is a high risk in some locations (2007)

noun: Eritrean(s) adjective: Eritrean

Ethnic groups
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 58.6% male: 69.9% female: 47.6% (2003 est.)

Country name
conventional long form: State of Eritrea conventional short form: Eritrea local long form: Hagere Ertra local short form: Ertra former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia

Government type
note: following a successful referendum on independence for the Autonomous Region of Eritrea on 23-25 April 1993, a National Assembly, composed entirely of the People's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ, was established as a transitional legislature; a Constitutional Commission was also established to draft a constitution; ISAIAS Afworki was elected president by the transitional legislature; the constitution, ratified in May 1997, did not enter into effect, pending parliamentary and presidential elections; parliamentary elections were scheduled in December 2001, but were postponed indefinitely; currently the sole legal party is the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ)

name: Asmara (Asmera) geographic coordinates: 15 20 N, 38 56 E time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
chief of state: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly head of government: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993) cabinet: State Council is the collective executive authority; members appointed by the president elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); the most recent and only election held 8 June 1993 (next election date uncertain as the National Assembly did not hold a presidential election in December 2001 as anticipated) election results: ISAIAS Afworki elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS Afworki 95%, other 5%

Legislative branch
elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely

Judicial branch
chief of mission: Ambassador GHIRMAI Ghebremariam chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009 telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991 FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304 consulate(s) general: Oakland (California)

Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald MCMULLEN embassy: 179 Ala Street, Asmara mailing address: P. O. Box 211, Asmara telephone: [291] (1) 120004 FAX: [291] (1) 127584

Flag description
agriculture: 21.7% industry: 22.6% services: 55.7% (2007 est.)

Labor force
agriculture: 80% industry and services: 20% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
revenues: $232.7 million expenditures: $467.6 million (2007 est.)

Agriculture - products
note: the official exchange rate is 15 nakfa to the dollar

Fiscal year
general assessment: inadequate domestic: inadequate; most telephones are in Asmara; government is seeking international tenders to improve the system (2002) international: country code - 291; note - international connections exist

Radio broadcast stations
total: 4 over 3,047 m: 2 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 14 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 6 914 to 1,523 m: 4 under 914 m: 2 (2007)

total: 306 km narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2006)

total: 4,010 km paved: 874 km unpaved: 3,136 km (1999)

Merchant marine
total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 12,529 GRT/15,023 DWT by type: cargo 2, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2007)

Ports and terminals
males age 18-49: 893,361 females age 18-49: 891,662 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 555,553 females age 18-49: 562,426 (2005)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 50,156 females age 18-49: 49,746 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
IDPs: 40,000-45,000 (border war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000; most IDPs are near the central border region) (2006)

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: an African country to the north of Ethiopia on the Red Sea; achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1993 [syn: Eritrea, State of Eritrea]

Merriam Webster's

geographical name country NE Africa bordering on Red Sea capital Asmara; incorporated (1962) into Ethiopia; voted (1993) in favor of independence area 45,405 square miles (117,599 square kilometers), population 3,317,611 Eritrean adjective or noun

Britannica Concise

Country, E Africa. It extends for about 600 mi (1,000 km) along the Red Sea coast, and includes the Dahlak Archipelago. Area: 45,405 sq mi (117,599 sq km). Population (1997 est.): 3,590,000 (incl. about 350,000 refugees from The Sudan). Capital: Asmara. There is no official religion or language. The varied population is about half Tigrinya-speaking (see Tigray) Christians, with a large minority of Muslims and diverse other peoples. Arabic, English, and Italian are also spoken. Currency: Nafka. Eritrea's land varies from temperate central highlands to coastal desert plain, with savanna and open woodlands in the W lowlands. Its economy is based on livestock herding and subsistence agriculture. Industry, based in Asmara, includes food products, textiles, and leather goods; exports include salt, hides, cement, and gum arabic. Eritrea's form of government is a transitional regime with one interim legislative body; the head of state and government is the president. As the site of the main ports of the Aksumite empire, it was linked to the beginnings of the Ethiopian kingdom, but it retained much of its independence until it came under Ottoman rule in the 16th cent. In the 17th-19th cent., control of the territory was disputed among Ethiopia, the Ottomans, the kingdom of Tigray, Egypt, and Italy; it became an Italian colony in 1890. Eritrea was used as the main base for the Italian invasions of Ethiopia (1896 and 1935-36), and in 1936 became part of Italian E. Africa. It was captured by the British in 1941, federated to Ethiopia in 1952, and made a province of Ethiopia in 1962. Thirty years of guerrilla warfare by Eritrean secessionist groups ensued. A provisional Eritrean government was established in 1991 after the overthrow of the Ethiopian government, and independence came in 1993. A new constitution was ratified in 1997. A border war with Ethiopia that began in 1998 ended in an Ethiopian victory in 2000.


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