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Ethiopia annexed Eritrea, violating the agreement it signed in 1952 to coexist as two federal states, for the sole purpose to getting access of the sea.
In Sept 01 1961, after a long peaceful struggle for independence and justice, Eritreans chose to start an armed struggle against Ethiopia.
In 1977 the Eritreans, after a long and painful struggle, managed to liberate more than 90 percent of the Eritrean territory.
In 1978, the Eritreans were forced to withdraw from all cities and towns, except from the town Nakfa.
Arrayed against the Eritreans were formidable forces: the biggest and best equipped army in Africa backed by the two Super Powers and their allies at different times.
Eritrea did not have a single meaningful backing from a foreign power. In terms of numbers and sheer force, it was a very unequal fight. Eritrea is a small country with 3.5 million people while Ethiopia's population is around 60 million.
How did then the Eritrean people withstand and defeated the Ethio-Soviet onslaught?
One can talk about the justness of the cause, the strength of conviction, the determination to win, the readiness to pay sacrifices, the exceptional broad participation of ordinary Eritreans inside the country and abroad, the organizational skills and political maturity of the liberation movements, .. and so forth. And yet, it is very hard to visualize what the Eritrean people had to go through or gauge the extent and significance of their achievement during the struggle for independence. These pictures will hopefully explain a portion of the miracle that is Eritrea.