Eritrea (/ or /;
info)), officially the State of Eritrea,
 is a country in the
Horn of Africa, with its capital at
Asmara. It is bordered by
Sudan in the west,
Ethiopia in the south, and
Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the
Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the
Dahlak Archipelago and several of the
Hanish Islands. Its
toponym Eritrea is based on the
Greek name for the Red Sea (Ἐρυθρὰ Θάλασσα Erythra Thalassa), which was first adopted for
Italian Eritrea in 1890.
Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 5 million. Most residents speak languages from the
Afroasiatic family, either of the
Ethiopian Semitic languages or
Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the
Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the
Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of
Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to
Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and
northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD.
 It adopted
Christianity around the middle of the fourth century.
 In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the
Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of
The creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates (for example,
Medri Bahri and the
Sultanate of Aussa) eventually resulting in the formation of
Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army, in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea. But the Eritreans that argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1942, anticipated what was coming and in 1960 organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition. In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory.
Eritrea is a
one-party state in which national legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed.
 According to
Human Rights Watch, the
Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world.
 The Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated.
 The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country in order to avoid.
 Because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was also ranked as having the least press freedom in the global
Press Freedom Index.
Eritrea is a member of the
African Union, the
United Nations, and
IGAD, and is an observer in the
Arab League alongside