Eritrea. In April, the government decided to ban female genital mutilation. The penalty for breaking the ban will be fines and imprisonment. According to CountryAAH, Asmara is the capital city of Eritrea. More than 90 percent of women in Eritrea are estimated to have had parts of the genitals cut away. In recent years, however, more and more parents have voluntarily chosen to spare their daughters.
In a UN report in July, Eritrea was accused of delivering weapons to the Islamic militia in Somalia, including Air Defense. The government of Eritrea rejected the charges. The country’s relations with the outside world are generally strained, not least because of reports of human rights violations. Education Minister Osman Saleh was appointed Foreign Minister in April with the task of strengthening Eritrea’s international reputation.
However, the Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak was kept in prison without trial throughout the year. He was arrested in 2001 along with dozens of other journalists whose newspapers published regime-critical texts.
Eritrea – Asmera
Asmera, Asmara, capital of Eritrea; 712,000 residents (2012). Asmera is the country’s largest city and an important transport hub with, among other things, international airport. Trade and production of textiles, leather goods and food dominate the economy. The city has a university (founded in 1967).
The central parts of the city exhibit several prominent public buildings, including the Roman Catholic Cathedral (1922) and the Great Mosque (1937). The Italian influence during the occupation years is reflected in many of the city’s art deco-style buildings. Asmera was listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2017 for its distinctive modernist architecture.
Asmera was occupied by Italy in 1889–1941 and at the turn of the last century became the principal place in the Italian colony of Eritrea. The city was occupied by the Allied troops in 1941 and was under British administration until 1952.