A Nation’s Beginning

Eritrea and its Struggles

A Nation’s Beginning

eritreaEritrea was first established – from among diverse tribal communities, many of them comprised of pastoral nomads – as an Italian colony in the late nineteenth century.  The capital, Asmara, became both an imperial outpost and a luxuriant residence for tens of thousands of Italian colonials, who ruled by imposing Euro-centric indignities on the local population but who built the rudiments of a modern state and economy.  After World War II Eritrea was briefly administered by the British, and then, through United Nations action, it became federated with its neighbor Ethiopia.  But Ethiopia dominated, oppressed, and eventually annexed Eritrea – outlawing even the teaching of Eritrean languages in Eritrean schools – and in 1961 a guerilla war for Eritrean independence began.