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Teseney is a market town in western Eritrea, lying south east of Kassala in Sudan, on the Gash River. The town was much fought over in the Eritrean War of Independence during which much of it was destroyed. Although being gradually rebuilt, landmines still surround the town.

Teseney is located 45 kilometers from the Sudanese border and approximately 115 kilometers beyond Barentu. Teseney is a population center for the western area, a frontier town with about 18,000 people from various ethnic backgrounds. On the outskirts of Teseney to the north are a couple of hills from which there are exceptional views of the lowlands and the mountains inside Sudan.

[edit] History

Teseney itself was liberated in 1988, having suffered extensive damage during the was of liberation (1961 -1991). Outside Teseney just beyond Haykota, is a monument to Hamid Idris Awate. He fired the first shots in the liberation struggle in September 1961.

Located ten kilometers to the west of the city is the Barattolo cotton plantation at Aligider where Hedareb tribes and 1500 ex-fighters and their families farm cotton, sesame and sorghum. Aligider is an old Italian frontier village, still containing a few Italian relics, but the village was extensively sacked by the Ethiopian forces in 2000 in their campaign to sabotage the Eritrean economy.

[edit] Economy

The marketplace buzzes with nomadic traders, merchants and returnees from Sudan. The main square in front of the mosque is abuzz with many kinds of different trade, including tailors, cafés, bars and other shops. There is a busy exchange market where the Saudi Riyal and the Sudanese Pound are exchanged to Eritrean Nakfa's and the food in the souk area has a distinctly Sudanese flavor. Teseney is one of the reception points for returnees from the refugee camps in the Sudan who then proceed to other locations.

During the rainy season (July to September) most areas around Teseney are impassable, but the recently constructed asphalt road from Barentu to Teseney guarantees a comfortable trip by road to this border village. Daily buses leave to both Kasala in Sudan, Barentu and Asmara, the Eritrean capital.

Coordinates: 15°06′36″N, 36°39′27″E


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