Chronology of Eritrean history

500-1000 B.C

Todays Eritrea was founded approximately 2500 years ago from Meroni the father of the Tigrinya Tribe in Eritrea, he separate it from Tigray-Region(North Ethiopia) and called it “Mereb Melash or Mereb Milash” it means from the river Mereb to the Red Sea we are one country.


1890 Eritrea is colonised by Italy.

1941 The Italians are defeated by military forces of the British leadership, Ethiopia retains its
independence back and Eritrea fell under British administration; the USA is setting up
strategic communication bases in Asmara.

1942 The first newspaper under Eritrean leadership is published.

1952 Under protests of the parties for independence, Eritrea gets federated with Ethiopia.
According to the plan of UNO Eritrea gets a flag of her own, constitution and parliament.

1953-58 The USA arms Ethiopia in exchange for military base in Eritrea; the regime of emperor
Haile Selassies arrests eritrean patriots, forces the amharic language upon the country and
forbid the eritrean flag; ethiopian troops fire on demonstrating students and workers, many
Eritrean were injured and killed in Asmara and Massawa. The Eritrean patriots established
the underground movement Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM).

1960-61 The Eritrean LiberationFront (ELF) founded in Kairo fire on the first shot of independence
war (by Idris Hamad Awate) on police forces in the west of Eritrea.

1962 The regime of Haile Selassies forces the eritrean parliament to dissolve themselves and
annex Eritrea as a 14th province of Ethiopia.

1970-72 After the spliting of the ELF in several factions the core of the EPLF (Eritrean People
Liberation Front) was formed; in betwenn the two movements it came to an armed debate.

1974 A military underground commitee of the Ethiopian Army forced Haile Selassie to resign,
ELF and EPLF reconcile themselves and aiming together against Ethioipia.

1977 ELF and EPLF win most of the eritrean cities; the Derg brokes ist alliance with the USA
and form an alliance with the UdSSR.

1978-79 Ethiopa starts a massive serie supported by the Sowiets to offense and reconquers the
largest cities and communities of Eritrea again; The EPLF decide of a strategic retreat to
the bases in the mountains. Radio “Voices of the Masses” is broadcasted for the first time.

1980-81 The EPLF offers a referendum to end the war with Ethiopia; renewed fights between ELF
and EPLF break out and the ELF disintegrates into splitting groups and moves off from Eritrea.

1982-85 The EPLF fends of the repeated Ethiopian attacks on the bases in the liberated areas
(Sahel); the great offensive “Red Star” was beaten back in which the ten tausend ethiopian
soldiers fell. The region is stricken by a catastrophic drought.

1988 The EPLF breaks with the victory for a 10 year military stillstand in the fight for the city of
Afabet. The Ethiopian military forces are encircled in the larger cities. The beginning of the
the end of the Ethiopian colonialism is rung in.

1990 Massawa is liberated and the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea are put in a complete ground

1991 The EPLF defeases the military forces of the Derg in Eritrean Mai 24th and founded a
provisional government and helps the Ethiopian opposition to overthrow the Mengistu
regime. The new government brings the 30-year war to an end.

1993 The independence is proclaimed on May 24th after the referendum made the decision
about the political status of the Eritrea in April.

1994 The EPLF goes over into the People’s Front for Democratic and Jusitce (PFDJ).

1998-2000 Ehiopia triggers a series of war with provocative border incidents in which 76,000 Eritreans
und Ethiopians of eritrean origin are expelled. Before a armistice was agreed on, more
than 1 million Eritrean civilian had to be resettled internal.

2002 Judgement of the UN Border Commission in favor of Eritrea conflict parties.

2003 With the letter of 19.09.2003, Ethiopias Premier Meles Zenawi annul the award.

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