Aid shunnedEritrea's fervent pursuit of self-reliance is rooted in its 30-year struggle for independence from Ethiopia, first against U.S.-backed Emperor Haile Selassie and then Soviet-backed dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.
Eritrea's president, Isaias Afwerki, an engineer who received his military training in China, has never forgotten that his Marxist-leaning rebellion received no help from any Cold War superpower. He has served as the nation's leader since its independence in 1993.
Isaias said the lack of resolution on the border has left Eritrea in limbo. Critics accuse him of using the standoff to backslide on democratic reforms.
Source: Staff writer Edmund Sanders