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Isaias Afewerki

Isaias Afewerki (born 1945) is the first president of Eritrea.

He became active in the Eritrean People's Liberation Front in 1966, and then became its secretary general in 1987.

After Eritrean independence was granted in 1993, he became its first president, under a reorganised EPLF, now called the People's Front for Democracy and Justice. His rule has seen a long and bloody border war with Ethiopia.

Many international observers believe that Afewerki is turning into a dictator; his country has banned all private media, imprisons more journalists than any other nation in the world and has not held any elections since independence (Eritrea is a one-party state).