History: Eritrea, until recently the northern-most province of Ethiopia, is situated on the African shore of the Red Sea. In 1890, it became an Italian colony but Italy lost the colony to a British invasion force in 1941. After the World War II, a U.N. resolution made Eritrea an autonomous, self-governing region of Ethiopia, apparently against the wishes of most of Eritrea's population. In 1962 Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie formally annexed Eritrea. Beginning in the mid-60's the province was repeatedly tom by fighting between the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) and other groups like Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) advocating secession from Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian army. Africa's longest civil war of 31 years ended in 1993 and on May 24, Eritrea became an independent nation-Africa's 52nd. It was admitted to the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations.
Border clashes between Eritrea and Ethiopia in May-June '98 led to the death of hundreds, and an end to the very cordial relations between the two neighbors. Fighting resumed in 1999. In May, 2000, Eritrea announced withdrawal of troops from disputed border territory. In 2002, an international commission gave a ruling on the border but the tensions continued.
There are nine ethnic groups in Eritrea. Massawa is the chief port. Only 5% of the land is under cultivation. Nearly a million Eritreans lived abroad in 1995.
Agriculture: Sorghum, livestock including camels and goats, Red Sea fishing.
Minerals: Gold, copper, potash, iron ore.
Exports: Hides, salt, cement, gum arabic.
Mission in India:
Hon. Consulate of Eritrea,
B-8/14, Vasant Vihar,
New Delhi -110 057.
Tele Fax: 91-11-26141067.