Eritrea profile   2012-01-17 14:24:41            

Full name: The State of Eritrea

Population: 5.4 million (UN, 2011)

Capital: Asmara

Area: 117,400 sq km (45,300 sq miles)

Major languages: Tigrinya, Tigre, Arabic, English

Major religions: Islam, Christianity

Life expectancy: 60 years (men), 64 years (women) (UN)

Monetary unit: 1 Nakfa = 100 cents

Main exports: Livestock, hides, sorghum, textiles, salt, light manufactures

GNI per capita: US $340 (World Bank, 2010)

A former Italian colony, Eritrea was occupied by the British in 1941. In 1952 the United Nations resolved to establish it as an autonomous entity federated with Ethiopia as a compromise between Ethiopian claims for sovereignty and Eritrean aspirations for independence.

In 1993, in a referendum supported by Ethiopia, Eritreans voted almost unanimously for independence, leaving Ethiopia landlocked.

Editor: Mo Hong'e
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