Eritrea is located in eastern Africa. The country shares borders with the Red Sea on the NE , Djibouti on the SE , Ethiopia on the S , and Sudan on the W. It has a huge coastline with the Red Sea of 2,234 km (1,388 mi).
Eritrea’s population is say 5 million within the Country, but with a diaspora of perhaps 2 million, mainly in nearby countries, but in large numbers in USA, Canada and Europe. Emigration from Eritrea has been continuous since the 1950s as a result of constant turmoil. Following WW2’s liberation of the Italian occupied Africa, a 1950 United Nations’ declaration federated Eritrea unwillingly with Ethiopia. In 1961 Eritrea was fully annexed by Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie [see elsewhere on this blog here]. A war of independence followed, resulting 30 years later in 1991, with Eritrea’s victory. But from then to now, Eritrea has been ruled by President Isaias Afwerki without the promised elections, and with curtailed personal freedoms. Conscription to the Armed Forces is compulsory and for undetermined (often long ) periods. These circumstances have led to a continuous exodus.
Eritreans in exile around the world remain proud of their country. The Eritrean Diaspora are known for retaining their identity, their culture, and known for socialising in Eritrean communities in diaspora and keeping connection with home. The victorious War of Independence remains a unifying event. Around the world in each country where Eritreans have settled, an annual event is held, to celebrate their culture. The diaspora in UK could be 20,000. On 20th and 21st July 2019 Eritreans from many UK cities met in Harrow, London, to share each others company, and to enjoy dance and song, food and drink.
Interestingly, Eritrean nationals in diaspora pay a tax of 2% of income to Eritrea.
Also good Festival pictures here.
Quite a party. Beautiful clothes. Habesha style dresses.
SAWA Defence Training Center is attended by all at age 16 years (male and female) for a minimum of 18 months. The aim of the training is stated to be to ensure a “sustainable future” for Eritrea.
A great intro to Eritrea. Thanks.