Size: 36 000 sq m Popn: 35 000
This area was part of the ancient Ethiopian kingdom until the C7th. In the mid C16th, it fell to the Turks and became an Italian colony in 1889. In 1941, it was the base for the Italian invasion of Ethiopia and then came under British administration until 1952 when it became an autonomous province of Ethiopia. It became a region in 1962 and several secessionist movements have arisen. Guerillas took control during the civil wars of the 1970s but Ethiopia recaptured most of the towns by 1978 with Soviet and Cuban support. The conservative Gulf states helped the resistance to continue throughout the 1980s and there was some co-operation with the guerrillas of Tigre province. The fall of the Ethiopian government in 1991 led to Eritrea gaining recognition and the right to seek independence. Independence was finally gained in 1993.
The population follows the Sunni Muslim and Coptic Christian religions. Languages spoken are Tigrinya, Arabic, Tigre and English.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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