Eritrea - Country history and economic development

16TH CENTURY. Eritrea falls under the rule of the Ottoman Empire but claims to the region are disputed by the Ottomans, Italians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians.

1889. Italy signs the Treaty of Wechale with the king of Ethiopia to establish the borders of its colonial state of Eritrea.

1941. Italy loses Eritrea to Britain during World War II (1939-45), and Eritrea falls under a British mandateuntil 1952.

1948. The United Nations (UN) is mandated to determine the future of Eritrea.

1950. The UN adopts Resolution 390 A (V) to provide for the creation of a federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia with Eritrea to retain autonomy under the Ethiopian crown.

1952. The Federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia is ratified.

1961. The Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) begins an armed struggle against Ethiopia.

1962. Ethiopia formally annexes Eritrea in violation of international law.

1973. A splinter group of the ELF forms the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF).

1991. Ethiopia's military junta is overthrown. The EPLF defeats the ELF and establishes control over Eritrea. The 2 new governments agree to discuss Eritrea's independence.

1993. In a referendum held in April, almost 100 percent of voters demand independence for Eritrea, and the country declares its independence on May 24.

1994. The EPLF reorganizes itself as a political party, renamed the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ).

1997. In May, Eritrea's constitution is promulgated. In November, the Ethiopian currency (the birr) is replaced by the Eritrean nakfa.

1998. In May, a territorial dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia leads to a new and devastating war.

2000. In June, Eritrea and Ethiopia conclude a peace accord, and refugees who have fled to Sudan begin to reenter the country.

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