- Asmara; 556,000
- 121,144 square kilometers (46,774 square miles)
- Afar, Arabic, Tigre, Kunama, Tigrinya
- Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $700
- Literacy Percent:
Eritrea Facts Flag
A former Italian colony in northeast Africa, Eritrea joined a UN-administered federation with Ethiopia in 1952, with a guarantee of democratic rights. Ten years later the state was annexed by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, touching off decades of bitter warfare. In 1993 Eritrea achieved independence from its dominating neighbor. After independence, Eritrea plunged into a 1995 war over Red Sea islands with Yemen and then a more devastating border war with Ethiopia in 1998, causing an estimated 100,000 casualties. A peace agreement in 2000 established a UN-patrolled buffer zone along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.
- Industry: Food processing, beverages, clothing and textiles
- Agriculture: Sorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn; livestock; fish
- Exports: Livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small manufactures
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
See our roundup of the best guided expeditions in Africa and the Middle East for 2011.
Baking temperatures, wastelands of salt—it's hard to imagine a more brutal landscape than Africa's Danakil Desert.
Along Africa's harsh frontier between desert and forest, crossing some lines can be fatal.
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