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The Eritrea Portal

Eritrean Coat of Arms
Flag of Eritrea
Location on the world map
Eritrea (/ˌɛrɪˈtr.ə, -ˈtrə/; 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.

Selected panorama

Credit: Hansueli Krapf

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

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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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Credit: Dawit Rezenè

A mosque in Massawa, 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

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Zersenay Tadese (born 8 February 1982) is an Eritrean long-distance track, and road running athlete. 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 upon a combination of efficient running and fast pace setting.

He has found most of his success over the half marathon distance, with three consecutive victories in the World Half Marathon Championships from 2007 to 2009. He has also excelled in cross country running, winning a gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the long distance race over the last five IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

In 2009 he became only the second man (after Paul Tergat) to win three World Championship medals over three different surfaces in the same year: winning World Cross Country bronze, 10,000 metres World Championship silver on the track, and gold in road running at the World Half Marathon Championships. He is a popular public figure in his home country; 2500 guests attended his wedding to Merhawit Solomon, which was broadcast live on Eritrean television. His brother, Kidane Tadese, is also a professional distance runner.

(Read more...)

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