Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Eritrean Army

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Ground defence

Eritrean War of Independence Hanish Islands conflict Eritrean–Ethiopian War Djiboutian–Eritrean border conflict

Current commander
Major General Ahmed Umer Kakay

The Eritrean Army is the largest branch of the Eritrean Defence Forces and is based in the Eritrean capital, Asmara. It is responsible for the defence of mainland Eritrea. Eritrean army is composed of four separate corps, each broken into 20 infantry brigades, single commando division and one mechanized brigade. However, current number of divisions of the Eritrean army cannot be fully confirmed, because the organizational structure changed rapidly in early 2000, but before that Eritrean army had 24 divisions at its disposal. Encyclopedia of uniform insignia lists and provides pictures of several ranks of the Eritrean army, including major general, brigadier general, colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, lieutenant 1st class, lieutenant 2nd class, master sergeant, staff sergeant, sergeant, corporal and private 1st class



The current Eritrean army is an outgrowth of the revolutionary Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). The trial by fire experienced by the EPLF during the Eritrean War of Independence created a force that was able to contend with the largest armed force on the African continent.

During the Eritrean struggle for independence the EPLF fought several large scale battles towards the end of the war. The most decisive were the Battle of Afabet in 1988 and the Battle of Massawa in 1990. These battles saw the collision of major units of the EPLF versus a conventional armed force.

Since its independence in 1992, Eritrea has taken part in multiple wars and clashes with its neighbors. Most notably the war with Ethiopia and border conflict with Djibouti. Especially with Djibouti Eritrea have had several wars and clashes within the last two decades. Most recently in 2008 relations between Eritrea and Djibouti were driven to a point where war was imminent, but avoided without full-scale war.

Current issues

Since liberation, and the selection of Sebhat Ephrem as Minister of Defence, the Eritrean army has experienced a major transformation. During this period the EPLA saw many cuts into its force in an effort to professionalize the force.

During, and since, the Eritrean-Ethiopian War the army has exploded in size from its peacetime size of between 20,000-50,000 to 250,000.


Eritrean Army Wikipedia

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