Eritrea Border Map

Yearbook 2003

According to, Eritrea Independence Day is May 24. Eritrea celebrated its 10th anniversary as an independent nation in a muted mood. The euphoria of the liberation from Ethiopia has disappointed with the failure of democratic reforms and economic burdens after the war against the neighboring country 1998-2000.

A dozen political dissidents and just as many journalists, including a Swedish, who was arrested in 2001, were still detained in an unknown location, despite repeated insults by foreign governments and human rights groups. President Isaias Afewerki described them as traitors and spies and showed no willingness to dialogue with the opposition.

The plans to mark the 100-mile border between Eritrea and Ethiopia with the help of the UN had to be postponed in the future, after Ethiopia refused to accept the UN-appointed border commission’s decision to award Eritrea the disputed town of Badme. The UN representative in the region described the absence of a political dialogue between the two countries as a serious threat to the peace process.

The only positive development in Eritrea was that a feared famine disaster did not occur; however, it was unclear whether this was due to the help of the outside world being sufficient or whether the fears had been exaggerated.

Eritrea Border Map