Thursday, 6 October 2016

Eritrea - History & Background

Eritrea, Africa's newest nation, celebrated its tenth year of independence in 2001. In May 1991, Eritrean liberation fighters swept the besieged remnants of Ethiopia's occupying army out of Asmara, the Eritrean capital, ending four decades of Ethiopian control and Africa's longest continuous modern war. In April 1993, Eritreans overwhelmingly endorsed independence in a UN-monitored referendum. On May 24, 1993, Eritrea declared itself an independent nation and four days later joined the United Nations.
The armed struggle for Eritrea's independence began in 1962, after a decade of Ethiopian violations of a UN-imposed Ethiopia-Eritrea federation, and following Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as its fourteenth province. In the early 1970s, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), was organized and, throughout the next decade, emerged as the dominant liberation force. The Eritrean independence struggle became synonymous with "selfreliance"—a 30-year war fought from wholly within the country by a politically mobilized population supporting a large, well-trained army using captured weapons. The historical and political necessity of Eritrean self-reliance forced Eritreans to plan and test—while fighting for—the kind of society they wanted, with education a vital factor in the liberation movement's success and a key element in the Eritrean model of development.

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