Eritrea is a very little-known country that holds the notable distinction of having the single lowest equality of news media on the planet, worse even than North Korea. This because there’s only one party that hasn’t held elections, closed all the private media and has done all the typical stuff of an authoritarian government.
Eritrea was occupied (i.e. invaded) by a lot of countries and kingdoms, the most prominent of all being Italy, ruling the country from 1870s until they were kicked out in the aftermath of World War II, being replaced by the British. This insane interest in the country can be explained with its location (right in the middle of the Red Sea).
It was annexed by Ethiopia in 1962 in a gradual process, so gradual that apparently nobody noticed until they were a part of Ethiopia. This devolved into a war that only ended in 1991. Eritrea finally became independent in 1993. Not that it has much, besides access to the sea. Its infrastructure is not well developed. Its railway (yes, just the one) is a literal case of Break Out the Museum Piece, as 1930s-era Italian steam engines still chug up and down the mountains from Asmara to Massawa [dead link].
The relations of the country with his neighbors are not very good, with wars and frontier disputes ongoing (including with Yemen… at the other side of the sea). With Ethiopia, in particular, they're particularly poor, especially with their polarizing positions in the Somali conflict and the fact that both governments try to destabilize each other.