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The Country & People of Djibouti

Djibouti [ Gibuti ] Republic of Djibouti

This page contains links to sites in Djibouti and Djibouti related sites.
For Middle East, North Africa, Arab and regional information visit Arab Countries

 

Djibouti, officially Republic of Djibouti, republic (1995 est. pop. 421,000), 8,500 sq mi (22,020 sq km),E Africa, bordered by Eritrea (N), Ethiopia (W, S), Somalia (Se), and the Gulf of Aden (e). Djibouti is the capital. Largely a stony desert, the country is economically underdeveloped. Nomadic animal-herding is the chief occupation, but most revenue is derived from the port of Djibouti and the country's free-trade zone status. Hides, cattle, and coffee (transshipped from Ethiopia) are the major exports. Industries include shipbuilding and repair and food processing. The population is about 40% Issa (of Somali origin) and 35% Afar (of Ethiopian origin), with the rest largely other Somali tribes, Arabs, and Ethiopian refugees. Both Issas and Afars are Muslim and speak Cushitic languages. French and Arabic are the official languages.

History
Djibouti is important for its strategic location on the strait between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. France obtained a foothold in the area in 1862 and organized it as a colony, French Somaliland, in 1896. The colony gained territorial status in 1946 and was renamed the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas in 1967. In a 1967 referendum the Afars voted to continue ties with France, while the Issas voted for independence and eventual reunion with Somalia. Djibouti became independent in 1977 under Pres. Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who established a single-party state in 1981. The country has been adversely affected by warfare in and between neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia. Tensions between Afars and the Issa-dominated government led to an Afar rebellion in 1991 that finally ended in 2000. Limited multiparty elections were restored under a 1992 constitution and Gouled was reelected in 1993. The 1999 presidential elections were won by Ismail Omar Guelleh, the government candidate. The French remain a strong military and technical presence in Djibouti, and the United States has also established (2002) a base in the strategically located nation. In 1992 a constitution allowing for a limited multiparty state was approved by Djibouti’s voters. In 1993, Gouled was reelected in the country’s first multiparty elections, which were widely boycotted by the opposition. The 1999 presidential election was won by Ismail Omar Guelleh, the governing party candidate. In 2003 the government sought to expel an estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants, largely Ethiopians and Somalis, from the country. The move was prompted by security and unemployment concerns.

Copyright (c) 2003 Columbia University Press.
Used by permission of Columbia University Press.

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Muslim Trade Network Trade reference directory and guide....
Organization of Islamic Countries +Arabic The most comprehensive database: statistical, economic and social
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Central Bank of Djibouti +Arabic Francais

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National Agency for the Promotion of the Investments +Arabic Francais
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Lycee d’etat Francais Un enseignement secondaire de type general et tertiaire
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