Some degree of autonomy was guaranteed,
however, following the establishment and the crushing of Eritrea liberation
movements, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia unilaterally dissolved the Eritrea
parliament and annexed the country in 1962.
That action marked the beginning of a thirty year struggle for independence,
and then following the defeat of Ethiopian troops in 1991 by Eritrea rebels the
long awaited opportunity for independence was confirmed following a 1993
However war between Eritrea and Ethiopia erupted once more in 1998 over
disputed borders. The matter was settled in principle in 2000, however conflict
remains as Ethiopia has refused to recognise the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary
Commission's findings of 2007, and there are concerns that the border dispute
may well flare up again.
Today Eritrea, despite its rich past, is an impoverished nation, with around
80% of its population reliant upon subsistence farming. War, as ever, has taken
its toll on the economy, with the 1998-2000 war inflicting heavy damage.
Natural events have also played their role in preventing Eritrea from
development, with poor rainfalls affecting harvests to the point where the
country is unable to grow enough foods to meet its populations needs. Abject
poverty, drought, famine and instability are the conditions into which children
in Eritrea are born.