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Eritrea is a country situated in northern East Africa. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The east and northeast of the country have an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea.
Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government on January 1, 1890. Upon Italy's losses in World War II, Eritrea was ruled as a British protectorate between 1941 and 1952.Following a UN plebiscite in 1950, a resolution 390 (V)was adopted to have Eritrea enter into a federation with Ethiopia in 1952. Emperor Haile Selassie I, nevertheless annexed Eritrea as Ethiopia's 14th province in 1961 sparking the 30-year war that lasted from 1961 to 1991. Following a UN supervised referendum called UNOVER Eritrea declared- and gained international recognition for its independence in 1993. Eritrea's constitution, adopted in 1997, stipulates that the state is a presidential republic with a unicameral parliamentary democracy. The constitution, however, has not yet been implemented fully due to, according to the government, the prevailing border conflict with Ethiopia which began in May 1998.
Eritrea is a multilingual and multicultural country with two dominant religions (Sunni Islam and Oriental Orthodox Christianity) and nine ethnic groups. The country has no official language, but it has three working languages: Tigrinya, Arabic and English. Amharic and Italian are also widely spoken amongst the older generations.
Sources: Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook
Queries and Surnames
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