The present day State of Eritrea was home to the ancient kingdom of D'mt in the 7th and 8th centuries BCE, and several smaller successor kingdoms thereafter. Italy invaded and occupied the nation in 1890, where it became a part of Italian East Africa (along with Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland). When Italian forces were expelled in 1941, Eritrea came under British mandate. In 1952, upon encouragement from the United States, however, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia under UN mandate, effectively becoming a province under Ethiopian administration. This sparked an independence movement and brought about the Eritrean War of Independence, which lasted from 1961 until 1991 when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) defeated Ethiopian forces in Eritrea and took control of the country. In April 1993, in a referendum supported by Ethiopia, the Eritrean people voted almost unanimously in favor of independence. The nation again went to war with Ethiopia in 1998 over a border dispute, which ended in June of 2000.
The Eritrean Defence Forces consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, with approximately 320,000 active duty personnel, making it one of the largest military forces in Africa.
Eritrean Camouflage Patterns
- Since its formation in 1991, Eritrea has primarily utilized common camouflage patterns found in many other countries and produced by Asian manufacturers. Of these, copies of the US six-color chocolate chip desert pattern seem to be the most common.
- Equally common is a copy of the US m81 woodland camouflage pattern, seen here.
- A variant woodland pattern, seen here, has a much more greenish-tone to it.