Eritrea on Thursday climaxed a week-long celebration of its 27th independence anniversary with a parade at the Asmara Stadium. The ceremony was led by President Isaias Afwerki along with top government officials.
The event which was carried LIVE by the state-owned Eri-TV showed a packed stadium that had military displays and a march past by security forces as the president and other officials observed.
The state body in charge of the celebrations, the Commission of Culture and Sports, had announced that the celebration was to start on the 18th and run till the 24th May.
It kicked off with an exhibition featuring paintings and sculpture in the capital, Asmara. There were also children’s programs, photo, handicrafts and innovation exhibitions.
Other entertainment events like a carnival, musical and artistic performances, community gatherings as well as cultural and community programs were all part of the celebrations.
Different programs were staged in cinema halls, public squares and streets depicting the cultural diversity and harmony as well as the unity and national values of the Eritrean people.
This year’s carnival according to government was conducted under the theme “Behind the Frontline of the EPLF.”
BIYA (@PR_Paul_BIYA) May 24, 2018
Worthy of note is also the fact that ahead of today’s celebration back home, Eritreans across the world had held celebrations across different continents.
Over a dozen governments also sent felicitations to the government and people of Eritrea on the occasion of the celebration. In a terse statement, the United States secretary of state’s statement read:
“On behalf of the government and people of the United States, I wish the people of Eritrea a happy national day as you celebrate the 27th anniversary of your nation on May 24, 2018. We hope that our shared values may bring our two peoples closer together.”
H.E. President Isaias Afwerki joins his people in celebrating #Eritrea's 27th Independence Anniversary at Asmara Stadium- Congratulations to the people of Eritrea everywhere… #EritreaAt27 shines… pic.twitter.com/ganmNe6TpG— Sophia Tesfamariam (@stesfamariam) May 24, 2018
Eritrea was colonized by two European countries – Italy (1889 – 1941) and England (1941 – 1952). It was annexed by Ethiopia in 1961 after the UN declared it an autonomous region of Ethiopia after the British left in 1952.
In 1991, the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front triumphed in a war of independence, they are said to have had a hand in deposing Ethiopia’s last emperor, Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1974.
Eritrea in 1993 voted for independence from Ethiopia in a UN-backed referendum and subsequently gained international recognition. It is currently a full member of the African Union (A.U.) and of the United Nations (U.N.)
Saluting #Eritrea|s finest – They come from all walks of life-products of a peaceful, secure and stable nation- with exemplary cultures of ethnic and religious tolerance and respect #EritreaAt27 celebrating our unity-hard earned independence pic.twitter.com/ZyNrDqb0tc— Sophia Tesfamariam (@stesfamariam) May 24, 2018