Eritrea. According to
Countryaah, Eritrea adopted its first constitution in May.
Work on the constitution had been going on since 1993 when
the country broke out of Ethiopia after 30 years of civil
war. Eritrea also introduced its own currency, nakfa. The
name is taken from a town in the Eritrean mountains which
during the Civil War was a strong guerrilla stronghold.
In March 2005, for a further six-month period, the UN
Security Council extended the UN mission in Eritrea and
Ethiopia (UNMEE). At the same time, the Council appealed to
the two countries to refrain from concentrating troops in
their common border area. It also expressed concern about
the recent Ethiopian troop build-up in the temporary
security zone along the border. In October, the Council
called on Eritrea to lift restrictions on UNMEE helicopter
flights in Eritrean airspace. Eritrea's restrictions are a
breach of the ceasefire agreement signed in Algeria in 2000.
Eritrea did not recognize the ruling of the International
Court of Justice in The Hague regarding border demarcation,
and this for a period created tensions along the border with
Ethiopia that were not properly marked. It was not until
March 2006 that an agreement was reached between the two
countries to resume border demarcation.
In April 2007, the government banned genital mutilation
and further decided that any encouragement or practice of
female circumcision would be imposed on very high fines.
Acc. figures from NGOs suffer 90% of the country's women
from the consequences of circumcision.
In May 2007, the UN mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea
declared that both countries had increased their
concentration of troops along the border, which was a threat
to the peace process.
In June 2008, there was a military clash between Eritrea
and Djibouti forces in a disputed border area between the
While Eritrea has reasonable relations with the EU,
relations with the United States since 2005 have become
increasingly tense. This is mainly because Eritrea has
pursued an independent policy and did not want to become a
henchman for the United States - unlike neighboring Ethiopia
and Djibouti. Thus, while the United States used Ethiopia in
2007 to invade Somalia, Eritrea has wanted to play an
independent role. That led in October 2008 to US Deputy
Foreign Minister Jendayi Frazer accusing Eritrea of being
a "state sponsor of terrorism". The reason was that sheikh
Hassan Dahir Aweys had attended a conference in Asmara for
Somali oppositionists. The United States believed that the
Aweys could have contacts with al Qaeda. The tone did not
get lighter after the change of power in Washington in
January 2009. In August 2009, the superpower's Foreign
Minister, Hillary Clinton Eritrea to supply arms to al-Shabab
in Somalia, fighting the United States supported Ethiopian
occupation force. The allegations were immediately rejected
by Eritrea, but the United States and the African Union
nevertheless pressed on in the UN Security Council, which on
December 23, 2009 with resolution 1907 imposed severe
sanctions on Eritrea. The country called the penalties
shameful and a result of the lies of the US and Ethiopia.
Eritrea withdrew from the African Union at the same time. s
and the lies of Ethiopia. Eritrea withdrew from the African
Union at the same time. s and the lies of Ethiopia. Eritrea
withdrew from the African Union at the same time.