In February 1990, the EPLF conquered the port city of
Massawa and then almost the entire Eritrean area. The rebels
captured Asmara and the day after the port city of Aseb. The
road between Aseb and Adis-Ababa is the only supply route
via land to the Ethiopian capital.
Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of ER and its meanings of Eritrea.
The EPLF declared at the end of May that it would
establish a provisional government and in July it agreed in
the Ethiopian capital to hold a referendum under UN
monitoring within two years.
Asmara and Adis-Ababa agreed to normalize relations
between the two countries. The Red Sea ports were reopened
to receive foreign aid. That same year, the rain began to
fall again in Eritrea, marking the end of 2 years of
In the referendum held in April 1993, 99.8% voted for
independence. The EPLF formed a provisional government
tasked with drafting a new constitution within a 4-year
timeframe and then printing new elections where several
parties had the opportunity to stand; the government was led
by Issaias Afwerki. That same year, Eritrea was admitted to
In February 1994, the EPLF held its 3rd party congress,
which transformed the organization into a political party
under the name of the People's Front for Democracy and
Justice, FPDJ. Eritrea joined the IMF that same year.
The disruption of diplomatic relations with Sudan in
December 1994 made it difficult to repatriate the 500,000
refugees. Issaias declared in October 1995 that his regime
would supply weapons to any group prepared to overthrow the
In 1996, the planned distribution of land to foreign
investors was delayed by real estate discussions. Government
restrictions on the establishment of political parties and
restrictions on freedom of expression continued.