Driving Directions Eritrea
ERITREA, formerly an autonomous province of Ethiopia, gained independence in May 1993 following a long, armed struggle against Ethiopia which had been in control since 1945. Bounded by Djibouti, Sudan, and Ethiopia, Eritrea has acquired Ethiopia’s entire coastline along the Red Sea. The small Eritrean port of Aseb, in the southeast corner of the country, has, however, been designated a free port guaranteeing the right of access to the now landlocked Ethiopia. Eritrea has a coastal plain rising to a belt of plateaux and mountains in the center and north. West of the mountains, the ground descends to form a region of undulating plains.
Eritrea’s climate is hot and dry along with its desert coast but colder and wetter in the central highland regions. People have traditionally followed an agricultural or pastoral way of life. Eritrea’s natural resources include gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, fish and probably oil. Deforestation and the consequent erosion are partly responsible for the frequent droughts and resultant famines that have blighted this area in recent years.
Future revenues may come from developing fishing, tourism and oil industries. Warfare, with its consequent loss of life and displacement of people, coupled with drought and famine, has had a disastrous effect upon Eritrea in the second half of the 20th century. The threat of starvation continues to hang over the country which faces a long struggle to rebuild its economy and improve a lot of its people.
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