Space Program of Eritrea
------The Eritrean Space Agency------
Level = 0 Development: Very Low
What has been going on in Eritrea?
What kind of space power do they have?
Does Eritrea have space weapons?
What are they planning over there?
Population: 4,500,000 / Language: Tigrinya / GDP: $900 / Cities: Asmara
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Eritrea emerged from its long war of independence in 1993 only to plunge once again into military conflict, first with Yemen and then, more devastatingly, with its old adversary, Ethiopia.
Today, a fragile peace prevails and Eritrea faces the gigantic tasks of rebuilding its infrastructure and of developing its economy after more than 30 years of fighting.
A former Italian colony, Eritrea was occupied by the British in 1941. In 1952 the United Nations resolved to establish it as an autonomous entity federated with Ethiopia as a compromise between Ethiopian claims for sovereignty and Eritrean aspirations for independence. However, 10 years later the Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, decided to annex it, triggering a 32-year armed struggle.
Politics: The government has been accused of repression and of hindering the development of democracy
Economy: Eritrea is said to exist on loans and the earnings of the diaspora
International: The border dispute which turned into a full-scale war with Ethiopia is still a source of tension
This culminated in independence after an alliance of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and a coalition of Ethiopian resistance movements defeated Haile Selassie's communist successor, Mengistu Haile Mariam.
In 1993, in a referendum supported by Ethiopia, Eritreans voted almost unanimously for independence, leaving Ethiopia landlocked.
The two countries hardly became good neighbours, with the issues of Ethiopian access to the Eritrean ports of Massawa and Assab and unequal trade terms souring relations.
In 1998 border disputes around the town of Badme erupted into open hostilities. This conflict ended with a peace deal in June 2000, but not before leaving both sides with tens of thousands of soldiers dead. A security zone, patrolled by UN forces, separates the two countries.
The unresolved border issue compounds other pressing problems. These include Eritrea's inability to provide enough food; two thirds of the population receive food aid. Moreover, economic progress is hampered by the proportion of Eritreans who are in the army rather than the workforce.
Isaias Afewerki was elected president of independent Eritrea by the national assembly in 1993. He had been the de facto leader before independence.
Eritrea's Space Infrastructure
Eritrea is one of the world's poorest countries, and its space program is, not suprisingly, nonexistent.
Not only does it not have an agency, but also no infrastructure in which one would arise. The University of Eritrea has no space related educational architecture, lacking astrophysics, astronautics, aeronautics and natural sciences, favoring instead a focus on medicine. The government has no ministry devoted to science of this type.
Eritrea has no history of being part of any organization dealing with space, nor has any launch capability.
Eritrea lacks the industrial base, the educational base and the political foundation for a process like this to occur within it. It has no functioning university with an astrophysics or astronautics program, and nonexistant industry.
Eritrea operates no satellites and, not having an orbital presence, has no space power.
The government of Eritrea in Asmara has no plans for attempting to further any ambition in space development or research.
Timeline of Events in Eritrea
...From the Past to the Future
300-600 - Eritrea part of the Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum.
600 - Arabs introduce Islam to coastal areas.
1500s - Ottoman Empire annexes Eritrea.
1890 - Eritrea becomes an Italian colony.
1941 - British forces occupy Eritrea.
1949 - Britain administers Eritrea as a United Nations trust territory.
1952 - UN decides to make Eritrea a federal component of Ethiopia.
1958 - Eritrean Liberation Front formed.
1962 - Ethiopia annexes Eritrea, turning it into a province; war of independence begins.
1970 - Leftist faction of the Eritrean Liberation Front splits to form the Eritrean People's Liberation Front.1974 - Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie overthrown in a military coup.
1977-78 - Soviet advisers and Cuban troops help Ethiopian forces reverse significant advances made by Eritrean guerrillas.
1990 - Eritrean People's Liberation Front captures the Eritrean port of Massawa.
1991 - Eritrean People's Liberation Front captures the Eritrean capital, Asmara and forms a provisional government; the United Nations sets a date for a referendum on Eritrean independence with Ethiopian backing.
1993 - Eritreans almost unanimously vote for independence; Eritrea becomes independent and joins the United Nations.
1995 - Eritrean troops invade the Yemeni-held Hanish islands at the mouth of the Red Sea.
1998 - International arbitration panel awards the Greater Hanish island to Yemen and divides other smaller islands between the two countries; border dispute between Eritrea and Ethiopia escalates into large-scale fighting.
1999 - Eritrean-Ethiopian border clashes turn into a full-scale war.
2000 May - Ethiopia captures the strategic Eritrean town of Barentu.
2000 June - Eritrea, Ethiopia sign a ceasefire agreement which calls for a UN force to monitor compliance and oversee the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Eritrean land.
2000 December - Eritrea and Ethiopia sign a peace agreement in Algeria establishing commissions to mark the border, exchange prisoners, return displaced people and hear compensation claims.
2001 February - Ethiopia says it has withdrawn its troops from Eritrea in accordance with the 2000 peace deal.
2001 April - Eritrea says its forces have pulled out of the border zone with Ethiopia in accordance with the 2000 peace agreement.
2001 May - Eritrea and Ethiopia agree on a UN-proposed mediator to try to demarcate their disputed border.
2002 February - Eritrea's highest legislative body, the National Assembly, decides not to allow the creation of any political parties in the near future.
2002 October - Eritrea is accused by neigbouring Sudan of taking part in a rebel offensive in the east. Asmara denies the charge.
2003 April - Boundary commission rules that the disputed border town of Badme lies in Eritrea. Ethiopia says the ruling is unacceptable.
2004 November - Ethiopia says it accepts "in principle" a commission's ruling on its border with Eritrea. But a protracted stalemate over the town of Badme continues.
2005 April - World Food Programme warns of a dire food situation after a series of droughts. It extends emergency operations to help more than 840,000 people.
2005 October - Eritrea bans UN helicopter flights in its airspace. UN says the restriction could force it to withdraw altogether.
2005 November - UN Security Council threatens Eritrea and Ethiopia with sanctions unless they return to the 2000 peace plan.
2005 December - Eritrea orders the expulsion of North American, European and Russian peacekeepers from the UN mission monitoring its border with Ethiopia. An International commission, based in The Hague, rules that Eritrea broke international law when it attacked Ethiopia in 1998. It says the attack could not be justified as self defence.
2006 September - Eritrea expels five UN staff as spies, in a move seen as a further deterioration of dire relations with the UN.
2006 October - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urges Eritrea to pull back the troops it has moved into the buffer zone on the Ethiopian border. The UN says the incursion is a major ceasefire violation.
2006 November - A UN report says seven countries - including Eritrea - have been providing arms and supplies to the rival Islamist administration in Somalia. Eritrea denies the charge. Eritrea's arch foe Ethiopia was arming the interim government, the report says.
Ethiopia and Eritrea reject a proposal put forward by an independent boundary commission as a way around a four-year impasse over the demarcation of their shared border.
TODAY AND INTO THE FUTURE