Eritrea is a country in East Africa bordering Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan. It was a formerly Ottoman-claimed territory from the 16th century until its ruler, the Ottoman vassal of Egypt, broke away. It was subsequently colonised by Italy in the Scramble for Africa in 1889, and coinage was issued from 1890-96. It was united with Italian Somaliland and the conquered Abyssinia (Ethiopia) into "Italian East Africa" in 1936. The country was liberated by Allied forces after Italy entered WWII in 1941, and assigned to Ethiopia following the end of the war in 1945, until the late 1980s, when Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia following a brief war of independence that ended in 1993. Today it is an extremely poverty-wracked country; it has a population of about 5.1 million people as of 2018 and it uses the Eritrean Nakfa today.
See also: Ethiopia
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