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Eritrea vs. Ethiopia

Introduction

EritreaEthiopia
Background"After independence from Italian colonial control in 1941 and 10 years of British administrative control, the UN established Eritrea as an autonomous region within the Ethiopian federation in 1952. Ethiopia's full annexation of Eritrea as a province 10 years later sparked a violent 30-year struggle for independence that ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating government forces. Eritreans overwhelmingly approved independence in a 1993 referendum. ISAIAS Afworki has been Eritrea's only president since independence; his rule, particularly since 2001, has been highly autocratic and repressive. His government has created a highly militarized society by pursuing an unpopular program of mandatory conscription into national service, sometimes of indefinite length. A two-and-a-half-year border war with Ethiopia that erupted in 1998 ended under UN auspices in December 2000. A UN peacekeeping operation was established that monitored a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone. The Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) created in April 2003 was tasked ""to delimit and demarcate the colonial treaty border based on pertinent colonial treaties (1900, 1902, and 1908) and applicable international law."" The EEBC on 30 November 2007 remotely demarcated the border, assigning the town of Badme to Eritrea, despite Ethiopia's maintaining forces there from the time of the 1998-2000 war. Eritrea insisted that the UN terminate its peacekeeping mission on 31 July 2008. Eritrea has accepted the EEBC's ""virtual demarcation"" decision and repeatedly called on Ethiopia to remove its troops. Ethiopia has not accepted the demarcation decision, and neither party has entered into meaningful dialogue to resolve the impasse. Eritrea is subject to several UN Security Council Resolutions (initially in 2009 and renewed annually) imposing an arms embargo and a travel ban and assets freeze on certain individuals, in view of evidence that it has supported armed opposition groups in the region.
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Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front. A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995. A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates, Ethiopia has not accepted them and has not withdrawn troops from previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. In August 2012, longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades.

Geography

EritreaEthiopia
LocationEastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
Geographic coordinates15 00 N, 39 00 E
8 00 N, 38 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 117,600 sq km
land: 101,000 sq km
water: 16,600 sq km
total: 1,104,300 sq km
land: 1 million sq km
water: 104,300 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly larger than Pennsylvania
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 1,840 km
border countries (3): Djibouti 125 km, Ethiopia 1,033 km, Sudan 682 km
total: 5,925 km
border countries (6): Djibouti 342 km, Eritrea 1,033 km, Kenya 867 km, Somalia 1,640 km, South Sudan 1,299 km, Sudan 744 km
Coastline2,234 km (mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km)
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
none (landlocked)
Climatehot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually, heaviest June to September); semiarid in western hills and lowlands
tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
Terraindominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 853 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: near Kulul within the Danakil Depression -75 m
highest point: Soira 3,018 m
mean elevation: 1,330 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m
highest point: Ras Dejen 4,533 m
Natural resourcesgold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 75.1%
arable land 6.8%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 68.3%
forest: 15.1%
other: 9.8% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 36.3%
arable land 15.2%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 20%
forest: 12.2%
other: 51.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land210 sq km (2012)
2,900 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsfrequent droughts, rare earthquakes and volcanoes; locust swarms
volcanism: Dubbi (elev. 1,625 m), which last erupted in 1861, was the country's only historically active volcano until Nabro (2,218 m) came to life on 12 June 2011
geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts
volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (elev. 613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - notestrategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993
landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; Ethiopia is, therefore, the most populous landlocked country in the world; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean

Demographics

EritreaEthiopia
Population5,869,869 (July 2016 est.)
102,374,044
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 40.66% (male 1,199,355/female 1,187,467)
15-24 years: 19.39% (male 566,199/female 571,743)
25-54 years: 32.33% (male 933,825/female 963,812)
55-64 years: 3.73% (male 93,325/female 125,411)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 97,248/female 131,484) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 43.71% (male 22,430,798/female 22,316,910)
15-24 years: 20.04% (male 10,182,973/female 10,332,626)
25-54 years: 29.45% (male 14,970,645/female 15,178,999)
55-64 years: 3.89% (male 1,939,635/female 2,047,041)
65 years and over: 2.91% (male 1,338,985/female 1,635,432) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.4 years
male: 19 years
female: 19.9 years (2016 est.)
total: 17.8 years
male: 17.6 years
female: 18 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.81% (2016 est.)
2.88% (2016 est.)
Birth rate30.1 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
36.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
7.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-14.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.74 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 45.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 52.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 38.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 51.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 43.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 64.9 years
male: 62.4 years
female: 67.5 years (2016 est.)
total population: 62.2 years
male: 59.8 years
female: 64.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.07 children born/woman (2016 est.)
5.07 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.61% (2015 est.)
1.15% (2014 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Eritrean(s)
adjective: Eritrean
noun: Ethiopian(s)
adjective: Ethiopian
Ethnic groupsnine recognized ethnic groups: Tigrinya 55%, Tigre 30%, Saho 4%, Kunama 2%, Rashaida 2%, Bilen 2%, other (Afar, Beni Amir, Nera) 5% (2010 est.)
Oromo 34.4%, Amhara (Amara) 27%, Somali (Somalie) 6.2%, Tigray (Tigrinya) 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Gurage 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Afar (Affar) 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Silte 1.3%, Kefficho 1.2%, other 8.8% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS14,100 (2015 est.)
730,300 (2014 est.)
ReligionsMuslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.5%, traditional 2.7%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.6% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths500 (2015 est.)
23,400 (2014 est.)
LanguagesTigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages
Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.8%
male: 82.4%
female: 65.5% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 49.1%
male: 57.2%
female: 41.1% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 5 years
male: 6 years
female: 5 years (2014)
total: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 8 years (2012)
Urbanizationurban population: 22.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 5.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 19.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 4.89% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 73.2% of population
rural: 53.3% of population
total: 57.8% of population
unimproved:
urban: 26.8% of population
rural: 46.7% of population
total: 42.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 93.1% of population
rural: 48.6% of population
total: 57.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 6.9% of population
rural: 51.4% of population
total: 42.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 44.5% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 15.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 55.5% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 84.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 27.2% of population
rural: 28.2% of population
total: 28% of population
unimproved:
urban: 72.8% of population
rural: 71.8% of population
total: 72% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationASMARA (capital) 804,000 (2015)
ADDIS ABABA (capital) 3.238 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate501 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
353 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight38.8% (2010)
25.2% (2014)
Health expenditures3.3% of GDP (2014)
4.9% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
6.3 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate3.4% (2014)
3.3% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth21.3 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2010 est.)
19.6 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)
Demographic profileEritrea is a persistently poor country that has made progress in some socioeconomic categories but not in others. Education and human capital formation are national priorities for facilitating economic development and eradicating poverty. To this end, Eritrea has made great strides in improving adult literacy – doubling the literacy rate over the last 20 years – in large part because of its successful adult education programs. The overall literacy rate was estimated to be almost 74% in 2015; more work needs to be done to raise female literacy and school attendance among nomadic and rural communities. Subsistence farming fails to meet the needs of Eritrea’s growing population because of repeated droughts, dwindling arable land, overgrazing, soil erosion, and a shortage of farmers due to conscription and displacement. The government’s emphasis on spending on defense over agriculture and its lack of foreign exchange to import food also contribute to food insecurity.
Eritrea has been a leading refugee source country since at least the 1960s, when its 30-year war for independence from Ethiopia began. Since gaining independence in 1993, Eritreans have continued migrating to Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Egypt, or Israel because of a lack of basic human rights or political freedom, educational and job opportunities, or to seek asylum because of militarization. Eritrea’s large diaspora has been a source of vital remittances, funding its war for independence and providing 30% of the country’s GDP annually since it became independent.
In the last few years, Eritreans have increasingly been trafficked and held hostage by Bedouins in the Sinai Desert, where they are victims of organ harvesting, rape, extortion, and torture. Some Eritrean trafficking victims are kidnapped after being smuggled to Sudan or Ethiopia, while others are kidnapped from within or around refugee camps or crossing Eritrea’s borders. Eritreans composed approximately 90% of the conservatively estimated 25,000-30,000 victims of Sinai trafficking from 2009-2013, according to a 2013 consultancy firm report.
Ethiopia is a predominantly agricultural country – more than 80% of the population lives in rural areas – that is in the early stages of demographic transition. Infant, child, and maternal mortality have fallen sharply over the past decade, but the total fertility rate has declined more slowly and the population continues to grow. The rising age of marriage and the increasing proportion of women remaining single have contributed to fertility reduction. While the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women has increased significantly from 6 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2012, the overall rate is still quite low.
Ethiopia’s rapid population growth is putting increasing pressure on land resources, expanding environmental degradation, and raising vulnerability to food shortages. With more than 40 percent of the population below the age of 15 and a fertility rate of over 5 children per woman (and even higher in rural areas), Ethiopia will have to make further progress in meeting its family planning needs if it is to achieve the age structure necessary for reaping a demographic dividend in the coming decades.
Poverty, drought, political repression, and forced government resettlement have driven Ethiopia’s internal and external migration since the 1960s. Before the 1974 revolution, only small numbers of the Ethiopian elite went abroad to study and then returned home, but under the brutal Derg regime thousands fled the country, primarily as refugees. Between 1982 and 1991 there was a new wave of migration to the West for family reunification. Since the defeat of the Derg in 1991, Ethiopians have migrated to escape violence among some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups or to pursue economic opportunities. Internal and international trafficking of women and children for domestic work and prostitution is a growing problem.
Contraceptive prevalence rate8.4% (2010)
37.9% (2015)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 83.2
youth dependency ratio: 78.4
elderly dependency ratio: 4.8
potential support ratio: 20.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 81.6
youth dependency ratio: 75.2
elderly dependency ratio: 6.3
potential support ratio: 15.8 (2015 est.)

Government

EritreaEthiopia
Country name"conventional long form: State of Eritrea
conventional short form: Eritrea
local long form: Hagere Ertra
local short form: Ertra
former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia
etymology: the country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation ""Erythra Thalassa"" meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country
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"conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
conventional short form: Ethiopia
local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
local short form: Ityop'iya
former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
abbreviation: FDRE
etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word ""Aethiopia,"" which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region
"
Government typepresidential republic
federal parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Asmara (Asmera)
geographic coordinates: 15 20 N, 38 56 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Addis Ababa
geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 regions (zobatat, singular - zoba); Anseba, Debub (South), Debubawi K'eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma'akel (Central), Semenawi Keyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
9 ethnically based states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples)
Independence24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years (may be traced to the Aksumite Kingdom, which coalesced in the first century B.C.)
National holidayIndependence Day, 24 May (1991)
Derg Downfall Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)
Constitutionadopted 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented); note - drafting of a new constitution, which began in 2014, continued into 2016 (2016)
several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic religious law
civil law system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly
head of government: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the only election was held on 8 June 1993, following independence from Ethiopia (next election postponed indefinitely)
election results: ISAIAS Afworki elected president by the transitional National Assembly; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS Afworki (PFDJ) 95%, other 5%
chief of state: President MULATU Teshome Wirtu (since 7 October 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn (since 21 September 2012); Deputy Prime Minister DEMEKE Mekonnen Hassen
cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by both chambers of Parliament for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2019); prime minister designated by the majority party following legislative elections
election results: MULATU Teshome Wirtu (OPDO) elected president by acclamation
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Hagerawi Baito (150 seats; 75 members indirectly elected by the ruling party and 75 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to form a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely due to the war with Ethiopia
bicameral Parliament consists of the House of Federation or Yefedereshein Mikir Bete (153 seats; members indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 5-year terms) and the House of People's Representatives or Yehizb Tewokayoch Mekir Bete (547 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; 22 seats reserved for minorities; all members serve 5-year terms); note - the House of Federation is responsible for interpreting the constitution and federal-regional issues and the House of People's Representatives is responsible for passing legislation
elections: last held on 24 May 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: House of Representatives percent of vote - NA; seats by party - EPRDF 501, SPDP 24, BGPDP 9, ANDP 8, GPUDM 3, APDO 1, HNL 1
Judicial branchhighest court(s): High Court (consists of 20 judges and organized into civil, commercial, criminal, labor, administrative, and customary sections)
judge selection and term of office: High Court judges appointed by the president
subordinate courts: regional/zonal courts; community courts; special courts; sharia courts (for issues dealing with Muslim marriage, inheritance, and family); military courts
highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court (consists of 11 judges); note - the House of Federation has jurisdiction for all constitutional issues
judge selection and term of office: president and vice president of Federal Supreme Court recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; other Supreme Court judges nominated by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council (a 10-member body chaired by the president of the Federal Supreme Court) and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; judges serve until retirement at age 60
subordinate courts: federal high courts and federal courts of first instance; state court systems (mirror structure of federal system); sharia courts and customary and traditional courts
Political parties and leadersPeople's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ [ISAIAS Afworki] (the only party recognized by the government)
note: a National Assembly committee drafted a law on political parties in January 2001, but the full National Assembly never debated or voted on it
Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [Taha AHMED]
Argoba People Democratic Organization or APDO
Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Party or BGPDP
Blue Party (Semayawi Party) [Solomon TESSEMA, spokesman]
Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum or MEDREK [Beyene PETROS] (a 4-party alliance)
Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF [Hailemarian DESALEGN] (including the following organizations: Amhara National Democratic Movement or ANDM; Oromo People's Democratic Organization or OPDO; Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement or SEPDM; Tigray People's Liberation Front or TPLF)
Gambella Peoples Unity Democratic Movement or GPUDM
Harari National League or HNL [Murad ABDULHADI]
Somali People's Democratic Party or SPDP
Political pressure groups and leadersDemocratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama or DMLEK
Eritrean Democratic Alliance or EDA
Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development or EIPJD (includes the Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ), Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM), Eritrean Islamic Salvation, and the Eritrean Islamic Foundation)
Eritrean National Congress for Democratic Change or ENCDC
Eritrean National Salvation Front or ENSF
Eritrean People's Democratic Party or EPDP
Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization or RSADO
Ginbot 7 Movement
Ogaden National Liberation Front or ONLF
Oromo Liberation Front or OLF [DAOUD Ibsa]
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires BERHANE Gebrehiwet Solomon (since 15 March 2011)
chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991
FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304
chief of mission: Ambassador GIRMA Birru Geda (since 6 January 2011)
chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Seattle
consulate(s): Houston, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Natalie E. BROWN (since September 2016)
embassy: 179 Ala Street, Asmara
mailing address: P.O. Box 211, Asmara
telephone: [291] (1) 120004
FAX: [291] (1) 127584
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Peter H. VROOMAN (since 2016)
embassy: Entoto Street, Addis Ababa
mailing address: P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
telephone: [251] 11 130-6000
FAX: 124-2401 [251] 11 124 2401
Flag descriptionred isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle; green stands for the country's agriculture economy, red signifies the blood shed in the fight for freedom, and blue symbolizes the bounty of the sea; the wreath-olive branch symbol is similar to that on the first flag of Eritrea from 1952; the shape of the red triangle broadly mimics the shape of the country
note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Vanuatu
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red, with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; green represents hope and the fertility of the land, yellow symbolizes justice and harmony, while red stands for sacrifice and heroism in the defense of the land; the blue of the disk symbolizes peace and the pentagram represents the unity and equality of the nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia
note: Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag (adopted ca. 1895) were so often appropriated by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the Pan-African colors; the emblem in the center of the current flag was added in 1996
National anthem"name: ""Ertra, Ertra, Ertra"" (Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea)
lyrics/music: SOLOMON Tsehaye Beraki/Isaac Abraham MEHAREZGI and ARON Tekle Tesfatsion
note: adopted 1993; upon independence from Ethiopia
"
"name: ""Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia"" (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)
lyrics/music: DEREJE Melaku Mengesha/SOLOMON Lulu
note: adopted 1992
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)camel; national colors: green, red, blue
Abyssinian lion (traditional), yellow pentagram with five rays of light on a blue field (promoted by current government); national colors: green, yellow, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Eritrea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ethiopia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years

Economy

EritreaEthiopia
Economy - overviewSince formal independence from Ethiopia in 1993, Eritrea has faced many economic problems, including lack of financial resources and chronic drought, which have been exacerbated by restrictive economic policies. Eritrea has a command economy under the control of the sole political party, the People's Front for Democracy and Justice. Like the economies of many African nations, a large share of the population - nearly 80% in Eritrea - is engaged in subsistence agriculture, but the sector only produces a small share of the country's total output.

Since the conclusion of the Ethiopia-Eritrea war in 2000, the government has expanded use of military and party-owned businesses to complete President ISAIAS's development agenda. The government has strictly controlled the use of foreign currency by limiting access and availability; new regulations in 2013 aimed at relaxing currency controls have had little economic effect. Few large private enterprises exist in Eritrea and most operate in conjunction with government partners, including a number of large international mining ventures, which began production in 2013. In late 2015, the government of Eritrea introduced a new currency, retaining the name Nakfa, and restricted the amount of hard currency individuals could withdraw from banks per month. The changeover has resulted in exchange fluctuations and the scarcity of hard currency available in the market.

While reliable statistics on Eritrea are difficult to obtain, erratic rainfall and the percentage of the labor force tied up in national service continue to interfere with agricultural production and economic development. Eritrea's harvests generally cannot meet the food needs of the country without supplemental grain purchases. Copper, potash, and gold production are likely to continue to drive economic growth and government revenue over the next few years, but military spending will continue to compete with development and investment plans.
Ethiopia - the second most populous country in Africa - is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, Ethiopia grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually – one of the fastest growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure, as well as sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the agricultural sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP.

Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and one of the lowest in the world, with a Gini coefficient comparable to that of the Scandinavian countries. Yet despite progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, due both to rapid population growth and a low starting base. Changes in rainfall associated with world-wide weather patterns resulted in the worst drought in thirty years in 2015/2016, creating food insecurity for millions of Ethiopians.

The state is heavily engaged in the economy. Ongoing infrastructure projects include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks. Key sectors are state-owned, including telecommunications, banking and insurance, and power distribution. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to tenants. Title rights in urban areas, particularly Addis Ababa, are poorly regulated, and subject to corruption.

Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings are led by the services sector - primarily the state-run Ethiopian Airlines - followed by exports of several commodities. While coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, Ethiopia is diversifying exports, and commodities such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock and horticulture products are becoming increasingly important. Manufacturing represented less than 8% of total exports in 2016, but manufacturing exports should increase due to a growing international presence.

The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment, mostly from China, Turkey, India and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products.

In the fall of 2015, the government finalized and published the current 2016-2020 five-year plan, known as the Growth and Transformation Plan II, which emphasizes developing manufacturing in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products. To support industrialization, Ethiopia plans to increase installed power generation capacity by 8,320 MW, up from a capacity of 2,000 MW, by building three more major dams and expanding to other sources of renewable energy.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$9.169 billion (2016 est.)
$8.845 billion (2015 est.)
$8.442 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$174.7 billion (2016 est.)
$164.1 billion (2015 est.)
$148.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.7% (2016 est.)
4.8% (2015 est.)
5% (2014 est.)
6.5% (2016 est.)
10.2% (2015 est.)
10.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,300 (2016 est.)
$1,300 (2015 est.)
$1,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$1,900 (2016 est.)
$1,800 (2015 est.)
$1,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 12.1%
industry: 29.5%
services: 58.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 36.2%
industry: 17%
services: 46.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line50% (2004 est.)
29.6% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 25.6% (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)11.8% (2016 est.)
9.8% (2015 est.)
7.7% (2016 est.)
10.1% (2015 est.)
Labor force2.62 million (2016 est.)
50.97 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 80%
industry and services: 20% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 72.7%
industry: 7.4%
services: 19.9% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate8.6% (2013 est.)
10% (2012 est.)
17.5% (2012 est.)
18% (2011 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $1.58 billion
expenditures: $2.165 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $10.07 billion
expenditures: $11.85 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesfood processing, beverages, clothing and textiles, light manufacturing, salt, cement
food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, garments, chemicals, metals processing, cement
Industrial production growth rate12.2% (2016 est.)
9% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productssorghum, lentils, vegetables, corn, cotton, tobacco, sisal; livestock, goats; fish
cereals, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, khat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish
Exports$485.2 million (2016 est.)
$415.3 million (2015 est.)
$2.932 billion (2016 est.)
$2.935 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold and other minerals, livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small industry manufactures
coffee (27%, by value), oilseeds (17%), edible vegetables including khat (17%), gold (13%), flowers (7%), live animals (7%), raw leather products (3%), meat products (3%)
Imports$1.022 billion (2016 est.)
$1.024 billion (2015 est.)
$14.7 billion (2016 est.)
$15.87 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods
machinery and aircraft (14%, by value), metal and metal products, (14%), electrical materials, (13%), petroleum products (12%), motor vehicles, (10%), chemicals and fertilizers (4%)
Debt - external$820.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$831.2 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$22.49 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$19.04 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesnakfa (ERN) per US dollar -
15.38 (2016 est.)
15.375 (2015 est.)
15.375 (2014 est.)
15.375 (2013 est.)
15.375 (2012 est.)
birr (ETB) per US dollar -
23.25 (2016 est.)
21.55 (2015 est.)
21.55 (2014 est.)
19.8 (2013 est.)
17.71 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
8 July - 7 July
Public debt119.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
121.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
54.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
49.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: official data cover central government debt, including debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury and treasury debt owned by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$213.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$209.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.956 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.113 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3 million (2016 est.)
-$102 million (2015 est.)
-$7.206 billion (2016 est.)
-$7.483 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$5.352 billion (2016 est.)
$69.22 billion (2016 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rateNA%
12.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
11.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$5.371 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.774 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$36.33 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$28.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.709 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.386 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$14.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$11.97 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$6.058 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.259 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$28 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$24.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-10.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-2.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 80.6%
government consumption: 23.4%
investment in fixed capital: 9%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 9.7%
imports of goods and services: -22.8% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 65.9%
government consumption: 10.2%
investment in fixed capital: 37.6%
investment in inventories: -0.1%
exports of goods and services: 8.7%
imports of goods and services: -22.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving4% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
4% of GDP (2014 est.)
29% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
30.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

EritreaEthiopia
Electricity - production300 million kWh (2014 est.)
9.5 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption300 million kWh (2014 est.)
6.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
1.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
430,000 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
24.92 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity100,000 kW (2014 est.)
2.4 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels98.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
8.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
88.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources1.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
3.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption3,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
61,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports3,539 bbl/day (2013 est.)
58,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy800,000 Mt (2013 est.)
9.3 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 4,300,000
electrification - total population: 32%
electrification - urban areas: 86%
electrification - rural areas: 17% (2013)
population without electricity: 71,200,000
electrification - total population: 24%
electrification - urban areas: 85%
electrification - rural areas: 10% (2013)

Telecommunications

EritreaEthiopia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 66,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 890,642
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 475,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (July 2015 est.)
total: 42.312 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: woefully inadequate service provided by state-owned telecom monopoly; most fixed-line telephones are in Asmara; cell phone use only slowly increasing throughout the country; no data service
domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership is less than 10 per 100 persons
international: country code - 291 (2015)
general assessment: Ethio Telecom maintains a monopoly over telecommunication services; open-wire, microwave radio relay; radio communication in the HF, VHF, and UHF frequencies; 2 domestic satellites provide the national trunk service
domestic: the number of mobile telephones is increasing steadily from a small base and now stands at over 40 per 100 persons
international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.er
.et
Internet userstotal: 71,000
percent of population: 1.1% (July 2015 est.)
total: 11.538 million
percent of population: 11.6% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediagovernment controls broadcast media with private ownership prohibited; 1 state-owned TV station; state-owned radio operates 2 networks; purchases of satellite dishes and subscriptions to international broadcast media are permitted (2007)
6 public TV stations broadcasting nationally and 10 public radio broadcasters; 7 private radio stations and 19 community radio stations (2017)

Transportation

EritreaEthiopia
Railwaystotal: 306 km
narrow gauge: 306 km 0.950-m gauge (2014)
total: 659 km (Ethiopian segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad)
standard gauge: 659 km 1.435-m gauge
note: electric railway with redundant power supplies; under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia and managed by a Chinese contractor (2017)
Roadwaystotal: 4,010 km
paved: 874 km
unpaved: 3,136 km (2000)
total: 110,414 km
paved: 14,354 km
unpaved: 96,060 km (2015)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Assab, Massawa
Ethiopia is landlocked and uses the ports of Djibouti in Djibouti and Berbera in Somalia
Merchant marinetotal: 4
by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1 (2010)
total: 8
by type: cargo 8 (2010)
Airports13 (2013)
57 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 4
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 9
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 40
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Military

EritreaEthiopia
Military branchesEritrean Armed Forces: Eritrean Ground Forces, Eritrean Navy, Eritrean Air Force (includes Air Defense Force) (2011)
Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force (Ye Ityopya Ayer Hayl, ETAF) (2013)
Military service age and obligation18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service; 16-month conscript service obligation (2012)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2012)

Transnational Issues

EritreaEthiopia
Disputes - internationalEritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by 2002 Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; Sudan accuses Eritrea of supporting eastern Sudanese rebel groups; in 2008, Eritrean troops moved across the border on Ras Doumera peninsula and occupied Doumera Island with undefined sovereignty in the Red Sea
"Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; ""Somaliland"" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia
"

Source: CIA Factbook