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Eritrea Geography
Location:
Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 N, 39 00 E
Map references:
africa
Area:
total: 121,320 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 121,320 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Pennsylvania
Land boundaries:
total: 1,626 km
border countries: Djibouti 109 km, Ethiopia 912 km, Sudan 605 km
Coastline:
2,234 km total; mainland on Red Sea 1,151 km, islands in Red Sea 1,083 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate:
hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually); semiarid in western hills and lowlands; rainfall heaviest during June-September except in coastal desert
Terrain:
dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: near Kulul within the Denakil depression -75 m
highest point: Soira 3,018 m
Natural resources:
gold, potash, zinc, copper, salt, possibly oil and natural gas, fish
Land use:
arable land: 4.95%
permanent crops: 0.03%
other: 95.02% (2001)
Irrigated land:
220 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
frequent droughts; locust swarms
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 24 May 1993
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