Eritrea – Context and Governance | Land Portal

By Rick de Satgé, peer-reviewed by Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London

Eritrea has been described as a ‘garrison state’[1].  Following decades of war to win independence from Ethiopia in 1991, any social gains made by the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) during the liberation struggle were rapidly eroded.  Newly independent Eritrea quickly fell under the authoritarian rule of Isaias Afwerki, who violently purged all political opposition, shelved the constitution, and disbanded the National Assembly to consolidate his personal rule which persists to the present day. The country is consistently among the highest producers of refugees as a percentage of the population[2], and is often referred to as a “diaspora nation”. The population estimates of Eritrea vary widely which reflects a lack of reliable data[3]. Most extrapolate that the population is between 3.3 and 3.6 million people, of whom just over 20% are urbanised. According to some estimates close to half of its population live in the diaspora due to hardship and war in the country[4]. 

The country which is some 117,600 km2 in extent has a 1200 km mainland coastline, which extends to 1900 km[5] if the 350 islands which form part of its territory are included. Eritrea’s location is of global strategic importance as it borders the Red Sea[6]. The boundaries which Eritrea shares with Sudan to the west, Djibouti to the southeast and Ethiopia to the south have been frequently contested. Border disputes have flared into border wars which have been a prominent feature of Eritrean contemporary history. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country with Tigrinyan people predominating in the Eritrean highlands. The majority of the peoples who live in the arid coastal regions and areas which flank the plateau are pastoralists. 

Administratively, the country is divided into six zobas (administrative regions) namely Maekel, Debub, Anseba, Gash-Barka, Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea. Eritrea is divided into six agro-ecological zones: the Moist Highlands, the Arid Highlands, the Sub Humid Highlands, the Moist Lowlands, the Arid Lowlands and the Semi-Desert[7]. 


Additional materials: 
Historical backdrop

Eritrea’s past and present have been deeply scarred by successive conflicts. Longstanding competition between pastoralists and cultivators to access land, water and control related trading activities have spatial and religious dimensions[8]. Christianity was established in the 4th Century CE while Islam advanced in the 7th Century. Islam is the predominant religion amongst pastoralists, while

Christianity is dominant amongst crop growers in the Highlands. These religious identities “were easily transformed into factors of conflict” and could serve as “both catalyst and outlet for tensions stemming from the competition for access to limited natural resources”[9]. 

Eritrea became a focus of Italian imperial occupation following the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, when an Italian navigation company purchased land from the local Afar sultan to facilitate Italian trade with Ethiopia. This land was subsequently transferred to the Italian state, which sent occupying forces in 1885, before proclaiming Eritrea as an Italian colony in 1890.  Italian colonial rule sought to simultaneously co-opt some groupings and exclude others – interventions that would mould the shape of Eritrean nationalism in years to come[10].

In 1935 there was a significant build-up of Italian forces in Eritrea in preparation for Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. In 1938 Mussolini announced the formation of the Italian East Africa Empire which included Eritrea, Somaliland, and the newly conquered Ethiopia. 

Between 1900-1940 Italy set out, without great success, to establish a plantation based agricultural sector in Eritrea. Colonial decrees promulgated in 1909 and 1926 appropriated land to the state, but also recognised indigenous customary rights “of ancient origin”[11].  These decrees gave the state powers to allocate land as concessions. 

Italy’s colonial rule was cut short by its defeat in World War 2 by Britain and its allies. Eritrea was administered by the British for the next decade, although London made clear it had no interest in claiming Eritrea as a colony. British and Ethiopian national forces also restored Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie to power. Haile Selassie – the last emperor in a 3000-year-old monarchy immediately sought to annex Eritrea to secure access to coastal ports. The British administration did not believe Eritrea would constitute a viable state and proposed splitting the territory between Ethiopia and Sudan. These proposals were resisted by Eritrean Muslims who formed the Muslim League to fight for Eritrea’s independence. 

In 1947 a four-power commission investigated the feasibility of incorporating Eritrea as a province of Ethiopia but failed to reach agreement on recommendations. The Eritrean case was subsequently submitted to the United Nations for resolution in 1950. The US and its allies sought to incorporate Eritrea into Ethiopia, while the Soviet bloc supported Eritrean independence. Eventually a compromise was reached and UN Resolution 390 A (V) was passed to federate Eritrea with Ethiopia. On paper this resolution gave Eritrea significant autonomy, including the right to draft its own constitution[12]. However, these federal arrangements soon unravelled, as from the outset Ethiopia sought to dilute Eritrean autonomy. 

In 1960 Ethiopia responded to a revolt in parts of Eritrea by placing the territory under direct Ethiopian administration. This was the stimulus for the formation of the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) by exiled Muslims in 1961 and the start of a liberation war that would gather momentum over the next thirty years. Ethiopia formally revoked Eritrea’s rights to federal autonomy in 1962, in breach of UN Resolution 390 and recast the territory as a province within the Ethiopian empire.

Rising resistance to monarchical rule inside Ethiopia in the early 1970’s resulted in an influx of Christian nationalists and Marxists into the ELF. Among them was Isaias Afwerki, who two decades later would become Eritrea’s all powerful president. Afwerki was one of five ELF members to be sent to China for training which was a precondition for Chinese support. This training exposed Afwerki to Maoist principles and strategies which would strongly influence the policy direction taken by Eritrean leadership during the liberation war and subsequently in independent Eritrea.

Ideological conflicts subsequently split the ELF and a new Marxist/Maoist oriented Ethiopian People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) emerged as the dominant force fighting for Eritrean independence, with Afwerki playing a prominent role in the leadership group. In a bitter civil war the ELF were forced into exile in Sudan.

Following a devastating famine in the Ethiopian northern territories in 1973 which claimed an estimated 100,000 lives, Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed by sections of the Ethiopian military who formed a ruling military council known as the derg. When Mengistu Haile Maryam assumed leadership of the derg in 1977 he launched a violent purge known as ‘the Red Terror’ to crush all political opposition[13]. Despite both the Ethiopian derg and the EPLF claiming Marxist orientations, Ethiopian attempts to subjugate resistance in Eritrea intensified.  At the same time the derg pushed through rapid land nationalisation and collectivisation of agriculture in Ethiopia. The land reform programme in Ethiopia involved the issue of 10 ha allotments to rural producers as part of a massive villagisation programme which involved forced resettlement. By 1986 the Mengistu regime claimed that 4.6 million peasants had been resettled in 4500 villages[14]. These policies, combined with persistent droughts and war, destroyed the regional agricultural economy and precipitated widespread famines (1983-5). Again, the famine in the north of the country coincided with the Tigrayan and Eritrean war zones and was used by the derg as a weapon in the war against the two successionist movements. This only served to amplify popular resistance to the derg and build a brittle alliance between the EPLF and Tigrayan rebel forces, which together with other opposition groupings finally overthrew the military government in Ethiopia in 1991.

Armed struggle and post-independence conflicts shape contemporary Eritrea. Photo by Lia via Flickr (CC-BY-ND-2.0)


This brought to an end 30 years of war in Eritrea which formally obtained independence in 1993, following an internationally recognised referendum. While fighting as a liberation movement the EPLF gained a reputation as one of the most effective and progressive liberation movements on the African continent. It was well known for its stated commitment to gender equality “assuring women full rights of equality with men in politics, the economy and social life and that they receive equal pay for equal work”. 

In early 1993 the EPLF’s policies of self-reliance, social and gender equality and their professed anti-corruption stance were well received internationally. US President Clinton went so far as to characterise the Eritrean president as a “renaissance African leader”[15].

However, many of the violent excesses committed by the derg in Ethiopia were repeated by the EPLF once in power in Eritrea. in 1994 the EPLF was renamed the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ). One of its first actions was to introduce national service. Initially this was restricted to 18 months, but only the first four training cohorts were demobilised after this period[16]. Eritrea was soon involved in conflict with Yemen and Djibouti. This was followed by a border dispute with Ethiopia in 1998 which escalated into a two-year war with an estimated 100,000 casualties. 

Following the war with Ethiopia there were demands for reforms and elections from leading cadres within the PFDJ. President Afwerki cracked down on this internal opposition, arresting much of the original EPLF leadership cohort known as the G13, closing independent news outlets and banning opposition parties. In response the Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP) was founded by PFDJ dissidents in exile. This added to an already fragmented range of opposition forces with different regional, ethnic and religious affiliations. 

Eritrea quickly degenerated into a highly militarised and tightly controlled society without a functioning constitution, parliament or independent justice system.  National service became semi-permanent as the Warsay-Yikealo Development Campaign, launched in 2002, envisaged citizen “service for life”. The PFDJ manufactured an almost constant state of conflict with neighbouring states and opposition groups thus providing the rationale to continually extend national service. 

Many Eritreans responded by leaving the country. Ironically diaspora Eritreans became a major source of revenue to the Eritrean state which levied a 2% ‘voluntary’ tax on all remittances sent home[17]. By 2016 some 5000 Eritreans were leaving the country illegally every month. In August 2022 some 162,000 refugees were housed in camps in Ethiopia[18]. Recent conflict between Ethiopia and Tigrayan forces which broke out in November 2020 has led to the forced displacement of nearly 2.5 million people inside Ethiopia and into neighbouring states[19]. Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia have come under attack, both by Ethiopian and Eritrean armed forces. In 2022 the latter is reported to have destroyed two Eritrean refugee camps in Tigray, dispersing approximately 20,000 Eritrean refugees, some of whom were forcibly conscripted into the Eritrean army[20].  

In 2022 The Human Rights Watch Eritrea country page characterises Eritrea as a repressive one-man dictatorship with no legislature, no independent civil society organizations or media outlets, and no independent judiciary.


Land policy and legislation

This section explores land policy and law enacted since Eritrean Independence. Eritrea’s programme of land reform had begun in areas under the control of the EPLF during the independence struggle. Initially this did not challenge customary tenure systems, which the EPLF regarded as being essentially democratic. Following independence, the state sought to achieve self-reliance through increased agricultural output. The PFDJ advocated a modernisation agenda, seeking to promote agriculture at scale. Eritrean land policy was conceived as part of a wider developmental programme, which aimed ostensibly to transcend older kinship systems and loyalties[21]. 

The government enacted Proclamation No. 58/1994 which aimed “to reform the system of land tenure in Eritrea, to determine the manner of expropriating land for purposes of development and national reconstruction, and to determine the powers and duties of the Land Commission”. This proclamation nullified all previously existing land tenure arrangements. All land, natural and mineral resources were owned by the state, which was empowered to grant various usufruct rights to its citizens[22].

Proclamation 58 established a Land Commission, directly accountable to the Office of the President. Its function was to determine which land should be distributed under the land reform programme for farming and housing. The Land Proclamation restricted itself to the protection of the rights to land for cropping. It was silent on the rights of lowland pastoralists and the protection of their grazing resources[23].

Livestock market in Keren. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

Overall, it soon became clear “that only a few individuals at the top of society should be entrusted with the power and duty to decide what is the optimal strategy of development for Eritrea and all its citizens … seemingly without any checks and balances”[24].

Land tenure classifications

Eritrea comprises numerous subnational groupings. Farming systems vary substantially according to geography and climate. These factors influence the content of customary tenure systems. Broadly speaking, historically land was regarded as communal property controlled by village structures and governed by customary tenure systems.  The main customary tenure system in the highlands is known as diesa. This term means “a thing held in common”[25]. Male adult individuals and households with recognised occupation rights based on descent were entitled to a gibri, or share of the land, in the form of a bundle of usufruct rights[26]. Such rights could be acquired either through being a recognised resident in a village, through marriage to a village resident followed by residence in the village, or by inheritance. While the right to use land was a permanent right, the land itself could be redistributed amongst local rights holders on a seven-year cycle. This meant that following such redistribution, households could be allocated a different plot of land, which could be of a different size, as land allocations were adjusted to meet village land needs.  


Terraced hillsides. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

Following independence, the newly constituted PFDJ re-evaluated the original EPLF position on the diesa system, concluding that customary tenure was “backward and an obstacle to development”[27].  Proclamation No. 58/1994 sought to abolish customary tenure systems which were considered to be constraining modernisation and development. In the new system, the state sought to “sever the connection to land by descent”, [28]allowing anyone to request land in the area that they wanted to live – even if they did not have prior rights there. The state’s rationale for this reform was to encourage commercial farming and change the whole concept of attachment to land[29]. However, the extent to which the state succeeded in replacing customary systems remains in doubt. At the same 

time there have been cases of land grabbing by senior military figures associated with the political elite.

It was significant that the new land policy totally neglected to address the land rights of lowland groups, who were pastoral nomads practicing mixed agro-pastoralism. Reportedly this may have reflected the fact that during the struggle the EPLF encouraged nomads to settle, providing education, health services and vaccination of cattle in the liberated areas. However, the rival Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), supported the nomads’ traditional way of life and defended their rights of livelihood[30].

In addition to the diesa there were lineage-based tenure systems known as rist or tsilmi[31].  In these systems “each individual family within the large kinship group has a certain plot of land or a number of plots corresponding to its size and needs”[32].  Land parcels could be assigned to socially dominant individuals on a permanent basis through this system.

“Traditionally, only a person entitled to tsilmi land, known in Eritrea as a restigna, is eligible for the office of village chief, a right known as chikkenet or helkinet - both terms being titles for head of village, with chikkenet including legal responsibility”[33].

Post-independence, household usufruct rights to farmland were made conditional on completion of military service[34]. 


Land investments and acquisitions

Estimates vary with respect to the contribution of agriculture and fisheries to the national economy. A recent estimate is that these contribute only 17.6% of GDP, despite the sector employing 65–70% of the population[35]. Overall, 49% of the total land area is suitable for grazing and only 17% is suitable for cropping[36].

Carrying grain to market. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

The original EPLF land policy stated that investors could be allocated land in proportion to the amount they were willing to invest in it. Due to the instability in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa very little investment has been made in agriculture.

Most foreign investment has been in mining which accounts for 20% of GDP. Eritrea is rich in mineral resources including gold, copper, nickel, chromite, potash, sulphur, marble and granite[37]. In the UK Parliament, an all-party focus group on Eritrea reported that from 2009, the Eritrean government granted eight new exploration licences to foreign mining companies and since then it has been reported that at least 17 mining and exploration firms are operating in the country[38]. 

Mining legislation including the Mining Law of 1995 (Proclamation 68), the Mining Income Tax Proclamation 69/1995, the Regulations on Mining Operations 19/1995, and the Mineral Proclamation 165/2011 require that the government is able to acquire up to a 40% share in any mining investment. Although there are laws which are passed to regulate mining, mineral contracts are negotiated with those surrounding the president with most payments being made offshore. Eritrea does not publish an annual Budget which makes it impossible for there to be transparent financial flows. 

In 2016 the government announced that the Red Sea was open for gas and oil exploration. Ethical concerns have been raised about doing business with a repressive state, associated with widespread human rights abuses and the alleged use of conscript labour, supplied by a company owned by the ruling party – charges which the mining companies have denied.

In 2017, investment analysts pointed to high levels of political risk and human rights abuses in Eritrea, deterring many investors from investing in the country, rating Eritrea as “one of the most socio-politically sensitive countries in the world for a mining company to operate in”[39].

A proposed potash mining project operated by an Australian mining company has been described as an economic “game changer” for Eritrea[40]. However this has attracted protests and threats of armed attacks by the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organisation (RSADO), which stated in 2015 that the mining project was “forcibly removing the indigenous Afar community in Eritrea from their homeland and causing a devastating impact because their economic, social and cultural survival is deeply linked to their traditional land”[41].

Artist's impression of the planned plant at the Colluli potash project[42].


Land use trends

In Eritrea nearly 75% of the population still rely on peasant modes of agricultural production. Agricultural livelihoods are precarious as 70% of Eritrean land is hot and arid, receiving less than 350 mm of rain per annum. In addition many families lack labour either as a consequence of conscription or migration. Nearly 50 -60% of the population are concentrated in the highlands, an area comprising not more than 10% of the total land area[43]. Climate change and increased climate variability are severely impacting on crop production and livelihood opportunities[44].  Over the past 60 years the temperature has risen by 1.7 degrees Celsius, undermining food security and biodiversity.

The current drought in the Horn of Africa has been described as the worst in 40 years. There is now famine in parts of Ethiopia. However, this famine is widely regarded as conflict related, rather than climate induced, in which access to food relief has been used as a weapon of war in the longstanding hostilities between Eritrea and Tigray[45].

Women’s land rights

There is a shortage of contemporary literature on women and land rights in Eritrea[46]. Much of the available literature is dated and focuses either on the EPLF as a liberation force, or the initial transition period in the early 1990’s. In 1994 the government established resettlement areas for returnees and former combatants – many of whom were women, where women could be allocated land. However, right from the outset there was a substantial gap between EPLF legal reforms and “on-the-ground realities”[47].

Woman at the grain market in Keren. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

While there have been state commitments to advancing women’s rights, gender inequality remains firmly embedded through kinship and inheritance systems[48]. The Land Proclamation excluded Muslim women, for whom the state recognised the norms of sharia law with regard to marriage and inheritance rights[49]. 

In 2002 “a review of the customary laws of all the nine ethnic groups in Eritrea shows that they all deny women ownership of land”[50]. These customary laws reflect patriarchal values. These conflicted with statutory laws passed within the 1991-1995 transition period in Eritrea, which gave women the legal right to own and inherit land. Reportedly much of the land, which had been independently allocated to women as a consequence of EPLF reforms in the 1980’s, was taken away by male family members in the 1990’s[51].

Within village ownership systems such as the diesa, customary practices dictated that in cases “where a woman remains unmarried and has no brothers, or where she gets divorced or decides to remain a widow, she is entitled to claim a share of village land” [52]. However, any such right could not be bequeathed to her children.


Urban tenure issues

Eritrea had the third highest urban population growth rate in Africa for the years 2000–2005. Between 1989-2000 the built-up area in Asmara increased by 1700 ha, or over 100%[53]. The combination of poverty and conflict have contributed to uncoordinated urban sprawl and proliferation of slums in Eritrea’s urban centres[54]. 

Informal housing in Asmara. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr (CC-BY-2.0)

State controls extend to rental housing arrangements and require property owners to sign rental agreements at the nearest government office. “Rent must be collected by government officials from tenants and later delivered to landlords net of tax”[55].


Overall, there is a shortage of reliable and current data on urbanisation, land and housing available from state sources. 


Community land rights

As noted above the rights of the coastal Afar communities are reportedly under threat by the state. The UN Special rapporteur, reporting in 2020 found that since the exploitation of potash resources began in 2017, villagers from several localities around Colluli have gradually lost their means of subsistence, their access to grazing land and their animals. Entire communities have reportedly been displaced. Many of those displaced have crossed into Ethiopia[56]. The Eritrean Afar National Congress (EANC) allege that the Afwerki regime is “systemically removing the historic presence of the Afar from their ancestral homeland, robbing them of their indigenous identity, denying them the rights to own and live off their traditional land and territories, destroying the basis of the Afar economies such as fishing and animal husbandry”[57].



Timeline – milestones in land governance

1869-Opening of the Suez canal

1890-  Eritrea proclaimed as an Italian colony

1936-  Italy invades Ethiopia

1941-  Eritrea falls under British administration

1946-  Ethiopia seeks to annex Eritrea to secure coastal access

1950-  UN resolves to join Eritrea with Ethiopia within a federal system which gave Eritrea autonomy and its own constitution

1952-   Eritrea incorporated into Ethiopia

1960-  Eritrean autonomy undermined by Ethiopia

1960/1-  Exiled Eritrean Muslims form the Eritrean Liberation Front and launch liberation war

1970-  EPLF splits from ELF

1974-  Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie overthrown by the military which pursues war with Eritrea with Soviet support

1991-  EPLF and Tigrayan rebels overthrow the military government in Ethiopia

1993-  Eritrea secures independence: Isaias Afwerki appointed as President

1994-  Land proclamation nationalises all land in Eritrea

1994-  Eritrea introduces unpaid national service

1997-  President Afwerki cancels presidential elections

1997-  Eritrean constitution agreed but never promulgated 

1998-2000- Border war with Ethiopia

2001-  Arrest of G13, clampdown on political opponents and closure of newspapers 

2008-  Migration accelerates

2009-  UN Sanctions imposed on Eritrea due to alleged support of Al Shebaab in Somalia

2015- UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur releases a report detailing systematic human rights abuses in Eritrea

2018- State of war ends between Ethiopia and Eritrea

2021- Eritrea experiences a mineral boom

Where to go next?

The author's suggestion for further reading

There is a broad literature on Eritrean land issues, but much of it is dated. See the reference list below. Contemporary analysis relevant to land issues emerges from the work of Kjetil Tronvoll who specialises in the study of Ethiopia and Eritrea and provides an important analytic review of Eritrean history and the drivers of conflicts in the Horn of Africa. Martin Plaut has produced a large and valuable body of work on Eritrea and its place in the region[58]. Plaut provides insights into conflict induced famine and access to food as a weapon of war. Gaim Kibreab has conducted extensive research on Eritrean migrants and refugees and the implications of displacement. Lobby groups and human rights organisations have produced a wide range of reports on human rights abuses in Eritrea. 

There are also a range of video resources which help to contextualise issues in Eritrea. A BBC documentary made in 1978 reveals why the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front was widely regarded as a progressive force in the 1970’s. Escaping Eritrea, made by Frontline PBS in 2021 narrates how independent Eritrea became a garrison state with high levels of forced migration. A video produced by the Fifth Estate examines alleged abuses associated with recent Canadian mining investment in Eritrea.



[1]Tronvoll, K. and D. R. Mekonnen (2014). The African Garrison State: Human Rights and Political Development in Eritrea. Rochester, James Curry.

[2] Hepner, T. R. and S. Tecle (2013). "New refugees, development-forced displacement, and transnational governance in Eritrea and exile." Urban anthropology and studies of cultural systems and world economic development: 377-410.

[3]Eritrea Focus (2018). Mining and repression in Eritrea: Corporate complicity in human rights abuses., Eritrea Focus to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea.

[4]Muthinja, M., M (2021). Eritrea. Africa Housing Finance Yearbook.

[5]World Bank. (2022). "Climate Change Knowledge Portal: Eritrea."   Retrieved 8 September, 2022, from

[6]State of Eritrea (2014). National report on the implementation of the UNCBD. Asmara, Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, Department of Environment.

[7] Ibid.

[8]Last, G. C. and J. Markakis (2022). Eritrea. Encyclopedia Britannica.

[9]Chelati Dirar, U. (2007). "Colonialism and the construction of national identities: The case of Eritrea." Journal of Eastern African Studies 1(2): 256-276.

[10] Ibid.

[11]Catstellani, L., G (2000). Recent developments in land tenure law in Eritrea, Horn of Africa. Madison, Wisconsin, Land Tenure Center.

[12]Negash, T. (1997). Eritrea and Ethiopia: the federal experience, Transaction Publishers.

[13] World Peace Foundation (2015). "Ethiopia: Red Terror and Famine." Mass Atrocity Endings  2022.

[14] Scott, J. C. (1998). Seeing like a State: How certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed. New Haven and London, Yale University Press. Kindle edition.

[15]Staff reporter (2009). Eritrea rebuked by Africa: From renaissance leader to pariah. The Economist.

[16]Kibreab, G. (2009). "Forced labour in Eritrea." The Journal of Modern African Studies 47(1): 41-72.

[17] Poole, A. (2013). "Ransoms, Remittances, and Refugees: The Gatekeeper State in Eritrea." Africa Today 60(2): 67-82.

[18]UNHCR. (2022). "Ethiopia: Total refugees and asylum seekers."   Retrieved 6 September, 2022, from

[19]Annys, S., T. VandenBempt, E. Negash, L. De Sloover, R. Ghekiere, K. Haegeman, D. Temmerman and J. Nyssen (2021). Tigray: Atlas of the humanitarian situation. War and the humanitarian crisis in Tigray and Ethiopia. University of Ghent, Physical Geography Research Group.

[20] Miller, S. (2022). Nowhere to run: Eritrean refugees in Tigray. Washington DC, Refugees International.

[21]Cameron, G. (2022). "Village projects observed in Eritrea: Post-conflict pathways to democratic rural development." Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society 10(1).

[22]UN Human Rights Council (2015). Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. New York.

[23] Joireman, S. F. (1996). "The Minefield of Land Reform: Comments on the Eritrean Land Proclamation." African Affairs 95(379): 269-285.

[24]Tronvoll, K. (1998). "The process of nation-building in post-war Eritrea: created from below or directed from above?" The Journal of Modern African Studies 36(3): 461-482. P. 469

[25]Zerai, W. (2002). Women and land rights in Eritrea. Kampala, The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI).

[26]Tronvoll, K. (1998). "The process of nation-building in post-war Eritrea: created from below or directed from above?" The Journal of Modern African Studies 36(3): 461-482.

[27] Ibid. P. 471

[28] Ibid. P.472

[29] Ibid. P.472

[30]bid. P 474

[31] Cameron, G. (2022). "Village projects observed in Eritrea: Post-conflict pathways to democratic rural development." Modern Africa: Politics, History and Society 10(1).

[32]Tekle, T. (2001). Women’s Access to Land and Property Rights in Eritrea’. Women’s Land and Property Rights in Situations of Conflict and Reconstruction: Towards Good Practice, UNIFEM

[33] Ibid. P 106

 [34]Catstellani, L., G (2000). Recent developments in land tenure law in Eritrea, Horn of Africa. Madison, Wisconsin, Land Tenure Center.

 [35]IFAD (2020). State of Eritrea:  Country Strategic Opportunities Programme  2020-2025.


[37]Eritrea Focus (2018). Mining and repression in Eritrea: Corporate complicity in human rights abuses., Eritrea Focus to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea.

[38] Ibid.

 [39]Haywood Securities (2017) cited in Eritrea Focus (2018). P. 27

[40] Jamasmie, C. (2020). "Danakali scores Eritrea nod for vast potash mine." Retrieved 30 August, 2022, from

[41]Eritrea Focus (2018). Mining and repression in Eritrea: Corporate complicity in human rights abuses., Eritrea Focus to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eritrea. P.23

[42] Jamasmie, C. (2020). "Danakali scores Eritrea nod for vast potash mine." Retrieved 30 August, 2022, from

 [43]World Bank. (2022). "Climate Change Knowledge Portal: Eritrea."   Retrieved 8 September, 2022, from

 [44]IFAD (2020). State of Eritrea:  Country Strategic Opportunities Programme  2020-2025.

[45]Plaut, M. (2022, 9 May). "Famine in Ethiopia: the roots lie in Eritrea’s long-running feud with Tigrayans."   Retrieved 10 September, 2022, from

[46]Zerai, W. (2002). Women and land rights in Eritrea. Kampala, The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI).

[47]Tekle, T. (2001). Women’s Access to Land and Property Rights in Eritrea’. Women’s Land and Property Rights in Situations of Conflict and Reconstruction: Towards Good Practice, UNIFEM.P. 112

[48] Ibid.

[49] Ibid.

 [50]Zerai, W. (2002). Women and land rights in Eritrea. Kampala, The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI). P.8

[51]UN Human Rights Council (2015). Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. New York. P. 67

[52] Zerai, W. (2002). Women and land rights in Eritrea. Kampala, The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI). P. 7

[53]Tewolde, M., G and P. Cabral (2011). "Urban Sprawl Analysis and Modeling in Asmara, Eritrea  " Journal of Remote Sensing 3: 2148-2165

[54]Muthinja, M., M (2021). Eritrea. Africa Housing Finance Yearbook.

[55] Ibid. P. 111

[56]UN Human Rights Council (2020). Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. Forty fourth session.

[57]EANC. (2022). "Afar under current Eritrean rule."   Retrieved 12 September, 2022, from

[58]Plaut, M. (2019). Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa's most repressive state, Oxford University Press, Plaut, M. (2021). "The Tigray Famine." The RUSI Journal 166(4): 22-28







































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