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The Eritrea Portal


Eritrean Coat of Arms
Flag of Eritrea
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Eritrea (/ˌɛrɪˈtrə/; /ˌɛrɪˈtrə/; Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā, Arabic: إرتريا Iritriya), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Its size is just under 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of 5 million. The capital is Asmara.

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Credit: Hansueli Krapf

Mountains between the Eritrean capital city of Asmara and the city of Massawa.

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Mer rouge1b.jpg

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The water is not red, as the name may imply.

Occupying a part of the Great Rift Valley, the Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km² (169,100 square miles). It is about 2250 km (1398 miles) long and, at its widest point, is 355 km (220.6 miles) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 metres (7254 feet) in the central median trench, and an average depth of 490 metres (1,608 feet). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea. (Read more...)

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Halib Mentel - 2008-11-01.jpg
Credit: Optimist on the run

The village of Halib Mentel in Eritrea.

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In the news


Wikinews Eritrea portal
  • June 11: Eritrea accuses four Britons of espionage and terrorism
  • November 5: New ocean forming in African desert
  • October 25: Djibouti says war with Eritrea is inevitable unless UN intervenes
  • September 20: United Nations requests US$700 million in aid for East Africa to avoid famine
  • April 4: African nations gather to support a ban on cluster bombs
  • March 14: Wikinews Shorts: March 14, 2007
  • March 13: Five Europeans are released in Ethiopia
  • March 10: Eritrean minister warns of war over Ugandan troops in Somalia
  • January 17: Eritrea moves troops into UN buffer zone
  • December 21: Eritrea declares its coastline a protected area



Selected biography


Isaias Afwerki in 2002.jpg

Isaias Afwerki (Tigrinya: ኢሳይያስ ኣፈወርቂ?) is the first and current President of Eritrea, attaining that status after Eritrean independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Prior to that, he was the leader of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, an armed movement determined to secure Eritrean independence.

He joined the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1966 and in the following year he was sent to China to receive military training. He never spoke about his private life as discretion is an Eritrean's treasured culture. During which bitter power struggle erupted between Christian highlanders and Muslim low land settlers supported by the petrodollar from across the red sea. Four years later he was appointed a commander. Eventually he split from ELF (Eritrean Liberation Front) and joined a small group of combatants which became known as the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). He next allied himself with other two groups that had splintered from the ELF earlier : PLF1, led by Osman Saleh Sabbe, and a group known as Obel. In 1976 he split from Sabbe's group after the latter signed a unity agreement with the ELF (the Khartoum Agreement)

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