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Eritrea History Timeline

300s AD - 1800s
  • (300-600 AD) Eritrea formed part of the Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum
  • (600s) Islam is introduced to the coastal areas
  • (1500s) A garrison is established on the coast of the Red Sea by the Ottoman Turks
  • (1890) Eritrea is proclaimed a colony of Italy
1900s
  • (1941) Eritrea is occupied by British forces
  • (1946) The first annual Tour of Eritrea, a multistage bicycle race, is held
  • (1949) Britain administered the region as a United Nations trust territory
  • (1952) Eritrea is made into a federal component of Ethiopia by the UN
  • (1958) The Eritrean Liberation Front is formed
  • (1962) Eritrea is annexed by Ethiopia and turned into a province sparking a war of independence
  • (1990) The port of Massawa is captured by the Eritrean People's Liberation Front
  • (1991) A provisional government is formed after the capture of the Eritrean capital Asmara by the People's Liberation Front; a referendum date on Eritrean independence is set by the UN with Ethiopian backing
  • (1993) Eritrea is granted independence and joins the United Nations; Isaias Afwerki is elected president
  • (1995) The Yemeni islands of Hanish are invaded by Eritrean troops
  • (1998) An international arbitration panel awarded the Greater Hanish island to Yemen, with the smaller islands being divided up between the two countries
  • (1998) The Eritrean–Ethiopian War unfolds after a border clash, over 70,000 people are killed
2000s
  • (2000) A ceasefire and peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia are issued
  • (2001) The final Eritrean troops are pulled out of the border zone with Ethiopia
  • (2005) A food shortage occurs after a series of droughts; emergency operations extended help to more than 840,000 people
  • (2005) The UN issued a threat to withdraw from Eritrea after all UN helicopter flights were banned from Eritrea's airspace; Eritrean officials ordered an expulsion of all North American, European, and Russian peacekeepers from the UN mission monitoring the Eritrea/Ethiopia border
  • (2006) A proposal put forth by an independent boundary commission is rejected by Eritrea and Ethiopia
  • (2007) Female circumcision is banned
  • (2007) Border conflicts are reignited between Eritrea and Ethiopia; Eritrea accepted a new border line created by the international boundary commission, but is rejected by Ethiopia
  • (2008) Peacekeeper forces are pulled out of Eritrea following government restrictions; Eritrea is accused of digging trenches at a disputed border area with Djibouti
  • (2008) Eritrea motioned to terminate UN peacekeeping mission within its borders
  • (2008) Fighting between Djiboutian and Eritrean troops erupted in the disputed Ras Doumeira border area
  • (2008) UN peacekeeping missions monitoring the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia ended after a unanimous vote with the UN Security Council
  • (2010) Eritrea and Djibouti agreed to a peaceful resolve in border disputes
  • (2011) Worst drought in 50 years hits the Horn of Africa, including Eritrea
  • (2013) Brutal repression forced thousands to flee Eritrea according to UN human rights reporter

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.