ACN Interview: Eritrea presents:

ACN Interview: Eritrea




Important Notes on the ancient Eritrea few people know: Rule of Law

The Eritrean peoples had their indigenous way of life for centuries. Various tribes living in contiguous areas were governed by democratic laws enacted by the people for the people themselves and had their unique constitutions. One example I have a copy of is the law of Logo Chewa which was first promulgated in 1484 (according to the Julian calendar) or 1491 A.D. This law was revised again in 1650 JC or 1657A.D. The third revision was made in 1899 and the 4th and last in 1935 J.C. or 1942 A.D. This constitution governs every way of life of the various communities. It includes both criminal and fiduciary matters that affect every member of these communities. It deals with settlement of cases of murder, the highest level of crime in societies. It reveals how wedding ceremonies are conducted and many others in about 91 chapters. The document shows the list of all the authors of the last revision representing all the communities from whom they were chosen.

I think it is rare in other places of the world to have written laws this old let alone in Africa. I understand we had many kingdoms in Mother Africa but written laws may not be found for the present generation to learn our past history. It would be much appreciated if we look for any of such laws that any society in Africa had in the past to empower our younger generations.


This short introduction of the country we call Eritrea is done for all our friends in Virginia to help them understand the brief history of Mother Africa, the origin of Mankind.

Yohannes G. MeAsho, Member of African Community Network, representing his home country of Eritrea

AREA: 117,600 SQUARE KMs out of which LAND is 101,600km2 and WATER 16,600 km2

LOCATION: 15:00 N, 39:00 E


Sudan in the North & West, 605kms long

Ethiopia in the South about 912 kms. long

Djibouti in the SE about 109 kms. long

The Red Sea (Eritrean Sea) in E & NE about 2234 kms, of maritime boundary

i.e. Islands 1083 kms. and Mainland on the Red Sea 1151 kms.



The 9 nationalities of Eritrea: Afar, Bilen, Hedareb, Kunama, Nara, Rashaida, Saho, Tigre, and Tigrigna

Population (2010 EST.) 5,792,984 / TIGRIGNA (50%), TIGRE & NARA (40%), AFAR (4%), SAHO (3%) AND OTHERS (3%)

Population by Age:  0 to 14 years 42.8% (M 1,212,848 & F 1,202,240) / 15 to 64 years 53.7% (M 1,483,169 & F 1,547,078) / 65 & over 3.6% (M 92,009 & F 109,824)

Life Expectancy: Male 60.06 years Female 64.3 years

Literacy: Male 70% can read & write Female 47.6% can read & write



Hamitic who were there for thousands of years and Semitic who came from across the Red Sea between 1000 and 400 B.C.? The population is a mixture of these two.

Brief Ancient History: The Western Lowland was part of the BEJA Kingdoms; the Highland was part of the Axumite Kingdom and the Southern Lowland was part of the Afar Kingdoms. There were also other minor kingdoms.

The Present Map of Eritrea: The present boundary was formally adopted in about 1898 when Italy conquered the whole area. The Italians colonized the country until they were defeated by the Axis of WWII and the three colonies, Libya, Somalia and Eritrea, were taken to UN General Assembly. Eritrea was left to be under the British rule until 1950 when the UN decided that Eritrea & Ethiopia be joined under a Federation. But in 1962 the Ethiopian Emperor abruptly made the federation null and void and forcefully occupied Eritrea making it part of the Ethiopian Empire. There were two causes for his action.

There were political parties in Eritrea with its own government but none in Ethiopia. People in Ethiopia were unhappy on the way the country was run and political unrest was feared.

The other part was, Ethiopia with no sea outlets, wanted the Red Sea coast for its international trades and had to get rid of the Eritrean Government structure for good. This action by Ethiopia was supported by the Western powers and all the effort to bring the case to the UN was fruitless. Because of this, the Eritrean people had no other choice but raise arms and fight the Ethiopians who had superior armed forces.

After fighting for over 30 years the Eritreans with their Ethiopian allies defeated the Ethiopian government in May 1991 and declared their independence. After a referendum under the auspices of the UN the Eritrean people overwhelmingly voted for independence and the official State of Eritrea was born again on May 24, 1993.

Religion: The religions practiced in Eritrea are Christianity and Islam. Christianity was introduced to this land in about 320 A.D. It is the Coptic Orthodox Christianity followed by the Eastern Christianity practiced in Russia, Greece, Egypt, etc. The Eritrean and Ethiopian churches have common ways of practicing their beliefs.

Islam was introduced by followers of Prophet Mohammed around 680 A.D. when they were prosecuted in Saudi Arabia at the time. Prophet Mohammed told them to go to this part of the world and stay there until peace came to Saudi Arabia. It was during this flight to safety that they built the first mosque in the port of Massawa, Eritrea. The mosque still stands to this day and the world does not know much of this unique history of Islam in Africa. It needs much publicity for people to know as to when Islam was introduced to Africa.

The Eritrean people, originators of democracy and belief in their early lives, do not enjoy these freedoms at present and have to work hard to win them back.




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    December 12th, 2010

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