Eritrea ( // or //;Ge'ez: ኤርትራ ʾErtrā ; Arabic: إرتريا Iritriyā ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea is the Italian form of the Greek name Ἐρυθραίᾱ (Erythraíā ), meaning "red [land]". The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeast and east of the country has an extensive coastline on the Red Sea, directly across from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands are part of Eritrea. Eritrea's size is approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi) with an estimated population of 6 million.
The Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, rose somewhere around the first or second centuries. and adopted Christianity shortly after its formation. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri Kingdom, with part being part of the Hamasien Republic. The creation of modern day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent Kingdoms and various vassal states of the Ethiopian empire and the Ottoman Empire, eventually resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. In 1947 Eritrea became part of a federation with Ethiopia, the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Subsequent annexation by Ethiopia led to the Eritrean War of Independence, ending with Eritrean independence in 1991.
Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations and IGAD, and is an observer in the Arab League.