Italy was the colonial ruler from 1890 until 1941 when Eritrea fell to British forces. A British protectorate ended in 1952 when the UN sanctioned federation with Ethiopia. In 1962 Ethiopia became a unitary state and Eritrea was incorporated as a province. Eritreans began an armed struggle for independence under the leadership of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) which culminated successfully in the capture of Asmara on 24 May 1991. Thereafter the EPLF maintained a de facto independent administration recognized by the Ethiopian government. Sovereignty was proclaimed on 24 May 1993. In 1999 fighting broke out along the border with Ethiopia, following a series of skirmishes the previous year. After the failure of international mediation, the 13-month long-truce between Eritrea and Ethiopia ended in May 2000. Ethiopia launched a major offensive. In June both sides agreed to an Organization of African Unity peace deal.
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