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Introduction: The UN awarded Eritrea 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 hosted a UN peacekeeping operation that monitored a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) on the border with Ethiopia. Eritrea's denial of fuel to the mission caused the UN to withdraw the mission and terminate its...

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People: Eritrea's population comprises nine ethnic groups, most of whom speak Semitic or Cushitic languages. The Tigrinya and Tigre make up four-fifths of the population and speak different, but somewhat mutually intelligible, Semitic languages. In general, most of the Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional beliefs live in lowland regions. Tigrinya and Arabic are the ...

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International Relations: Ethiopia

A dispute over the ill-defined border with Ethiopia flared into military conflict in May 1998. There were an estimated 100,000 casualties. Hostilities concluded with the signing of the Algiers Peace Agreement of December 2000. This established the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) to delimit and demarcate the border and established a 25km Temporary Security Zone (TSZ) between the 2 countries. A UN peacekeeping force (UNMEE) was deployed along the TSZ in 2001. Following restrictions placed on UNMEE activities and staff by the Eritrean Government the UN Security Council formally terminated UNMEE’s ...

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Overview: Eritrea’s transportation network, severely damaged and largely dismantled during Eritrea’s war for independence and border conflict with Ethiopia, is rudimentary at best. Plans for significant redevelopment are underway, but the capital resources necessary to fund road and rail projects are not readily available.

Roads: The only fully paved road in Eritrea (and ...

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