Eritrea, independent state in East Africa, bounded by the Red Sea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. A hot, dry, mountainous region, Eritrea is populated partly by nomadic herders, but there are also areas of agriculture and several cities, including Asmara, the capital. After several hundred years under the Ottoman Empire, Eritrea became an Italian colony in 1890. In 1962 it was annexed by Ethiopia. The Eritreans fought a war of independence since the 1960s. Two years after the installation of a more autonomous Eritrean government, the republic became independent in 1993. Towards the end of the 1990s, the conflict with Ethiopia broke out again.
See also: Ethiopia.