Independence Day in Eritrea Date in the current year: May 24, 2016

Independence Day in Eritrea Independence Day is one of the most important public holidays in Eritrea. It's annually observed on May 24 and people get an additional day off.

Eritrea was colonized by Italy in 1890. During World War II and till 1952 it was administered by the British. Then Eritrea federated with Ethiopia to have a loose federal structure under the imperial rule of Ethiopia. Although the Eritrean Government took control over foreign affairs, defense, finance and transport systems, the Eritreans wanted total independence. This led to formation of the Eritrean Liberation Movement in 1958.

The Eritrean Liberation Movement mainly consisted of students, intellectuals and professionals, who were led by Hamid Idris Awate. However, it was discovered and destroyed by imperial authorities. Emperor Haile Selassie illegally annexed Eritrea in 1962 and the Eritrean Liberation Front started an armed struggle for independence. The Eritrean War for Independence continued for 30 years. It ended on May 24, 1991 when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front forced into the capital Asmara.

The Eritreans formally received independence in 1991, but it was recognized by the world only in 1993.

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