Eritrea. In July, the UN Security Council decided not to extend the mandate of the UN force of 1,700 to monitor the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. As a reason, both countries’ failure to cooperate was indicated. Ethiopia has refused to accept the UN-appointed Border Commission’s decision to grant Eritrea the right to the disputed border town of Badme, while Eritrea during the year forced UN personnel to evacuate the border area by stopping supplying fuel to their vehicles.
During its 15 years as an independent state, Eritrea has been involved in armed conflicts with all neighboring countries. In May, Eritrea was accused of sending troops into Djiboutian territory and occupying a rural area. In fighting in June, nine Djiboutian soldiers are said to have been killed and over 60 injured. Both the United States and the UN Security Council condemned Eritrea’s actions.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of ER in general and in geography as Eritrea in particular.
United States: “Eritrean Forces in Tigray”
The United States tells the media that new intelligence indicates that Eritrean forces were inside the war-torn Ethiopian state of Tigray during Ethiopia’s military offensive there (see Ethiopia, current policy). The United States has previously praised Eritrea for failing to respond to rocket attacks on the capital, Asmara (see November 2020). Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy denies that Eritrea has assisted Ethiopia in the fight against the state leadership in Tigray.
Third rocket fire
For the third time, Asmara is fired upon by Tigray rockets in northern Ethiopia. A US diplomat in the city tells the media that he heard six rocket fire. It is unclear if any damage occurred, and it is unknown who fired the rockets.
Rocket attack on Asmara
Asmara is shot down with at least one rocket from the neighboring Ethiopian state of Tigray. It is unclear if the attack caused any damage. This is the second time Asmara has been attacked by rocket fire from Tigray since a conflict broke out there on 4 November. This time too, Eritrea chooses not to respond to the attack. TPLF took on the first rocket attack but remains silent this time.
Rocket fire on Asmara
The capital Asmara is bombarded with rockets from the northern Ethiopian state of Tigray, which borders Eritrea. Forces loyal to Tigray’s leadership, the TPLF party, are behind the shelling. The TPLF accuses Eritrea of militarily supporting Ethiopian government forces in a conflict that erupted in Ethiopia the same month between the central government and the TPLF leadership in Tigray (see Ethiopia, current policy). There are reports that Eritrea is moving troops towards the border with Tigray. The TPLF and the Eritrean leadership are sworn enemies. Ethiopia denies that its forces would be supported by Eritrea.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Eritrea in 2008 was 3,170,324, ranking number 134 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.320% yearly, and the population density was 31.3905 people per km2.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
Eritrea, which became a sovereign state on May 24, 1993, has an area of 121,143 km ² and an estimated population of 3,577,000 residents in 1998. Over one million Eritreans (half of whom are refugees in Sudan) live outside the borders of the motherland. The capital, Asmara, counted 367,300 residents in 1991.
Eritrea is one of the poorest countries in Africa; at the end of the war, in 1991, most of the population depended on international aid for survival and, to date, the economic and social indicators outline a particularly depressed overall picture, even though both the process reconstruction of the economy and the creation of infrastructures in the area.
Agriculture, which between 1980 and 1990 recorded a drop in production of the order of 40 %, is practiced on an extension of about 320,000 ha on the plateaus, where rainfall is sufficient for the practice of the main crops: teff (a local cereal), maize, wheat, sorghum and millet. But the recurrent droughts (particularly disastrous that of 1993) and soil erosion combine to create an unfavorable environment for agricultural activities, which are not very profitable. Fishing in the Red Sea has so far yielded modest results (3800 t in 1995), but has interesting development prospects. Research of hydrocarbons is underway in the depths of the Red Sea, where it has been ascertained the presence of substantial potential reserves; another mineral resource that has so far been poorly valued is gold.
The industrial apparatus, traditionally focused on the production of glass, cement, footwear, preserved food and drinks, had begun to modernize and diversify as a result of a policy aimed at liberalizing trade, attracting foreign investors, encouraging industries oriented towards export; but this modernization process was almost blocked following the new armed clashes with Ethiopia in 1998 and 1999.
In 1993 the Eritrea was admitted to the group of ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) adhering to the Lomé convention. The balance of payments, thanks to the substantial contribution of emigrant remittances, is in surplus, and the Eritrea, while making use of massive financial aid from international cooperation, has the peculiarity of being one of the few African states immune from the debt crisis with abroad.