Ethiopia ~ Eritrea

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      In 1886 Great Britain allowed Italy to claim the Red Sea coast and form the colony of Eritrea. In 1890 it became an Italian colony and in 1936 it was incorporated as a province of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana), along with Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland. The British expelled the Italians in 1941, and in 1951 Eritrea and Ethiopia were united.

     To celebrate Ethiopia’s federation with Eritrea nine stamps were issued in 1952. One of them featured a map of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula, entitled Ethiopia with her Sea Borders, with the countries as of September 11, 1952. Several towns are identified, Massawa, Asmara, and Assab in Eritrea, and Gondar, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, several unnamed lakes and portraits of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw. Along the right side and bottom right of the stamp are several symbols that must have significance in Ethiopia.

     The countries shown include French Somaliland which was granted independence in 1977 as Djibouti, the (British) Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somaliland which formed the Republic of Somalia in 1960, as well as Eritrea and Ethiopia which joined in a federation in 1952. Eritrea was annexed by Ethiopia 10 years later and became independent in 1993.

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