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State of Eritrea
Hagere Ertra (Arabic)
Dawlat Iritriyá (Tigrigna)
Political Status: Former Italian colony; became part of UN-sponsored Ethiopian-Eritrean Federation in September 1952; annexed as a province of Ethiopia in November 1962; declared independent on May 24, 1993, following secessionist referendum of April 23–25; new constitution approved by the Constitutional Assembly on May 23, 1997, but largely unimplemented as of mid-2012.
Area: 46,774 sq. mi. (121,144 sq. km).
Population: 5,596,059 (2012E—UN); 6,086,495 (2012E—U.S. Census). (The World Bank in 2012 estimated the population at 5.4 million or less, noting the large exodus of Eritreans in recent years.)
Major Urban Centers (2005E): ASMARA (554,000), Keren (89,000).
Principal Languages: Tigrigna and Arabic.
Monetary Unit: Nakfa (government rate of exchange as of November 5, 2012: 15.10 nakfa = $1US).
State President and Chair of the Executive Council of ...