Eritrea. The extremely aid-dependent Eritrea was bewildered and troubled again by his devious attitude towards the outside world. Despite the UN’s alarm in June of a looming humanitarian crisis due to food shortages and low agricultural production as a result of drought and a permanent military readiness, authorities in the autumn sharply cut the distribution of food aid to the population. The intention was to reduce dependency on the outside world by building a system where work efforts would be paid with food rations. Foreign aid personnel feared that the food saved would be used to build up a military contingency camp in the event of a new war with Ethiopia. Eritrea was upset by Ethiopia’s refusal to approve the boundary set by an international commission, which largely met Eritrea’s wishes, and they were bitter that the outside world had not forced Ethiopia to bow. In October, in conjunction with information on troop contractions at the border, Eritrea banned the UN surveillance force from continuing its helicopter flights to the area. The UN Security Council threatened Eritrea with sanctions unless the ban was lifted, but Eritrea responded by expelling all European and North American observers.
In December, the Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague ordered Eritrea to pay damages to Ethiopia for initiating the 1998–2000 war in violation of international law and the UN Charter. At the same time, Ethiopia was sentenced to replace Eritrea for assault on Eritrean civilians and destruction of Eritrean property during the war.
According to countryaah, Asmara is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Eritrea. Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak remained imprisoned, despite sudden hints in November that he would be released. Isaak has been incarcerated without a sentence or investigation since the fall of 2001 along with about ten colleagues who tried to conduct a critical journalism.