Republic of Djibouti, is located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Eden at the east. France still has thousands of troops as well as warships, aircraft and armored vehicles in Djibouti, contributing directly and indirectly to the country’s income. The US has also stationed hundreds of troops in Djibouti, its only African base, in an effort to counter terrorism in the region.
After independence from France in 1977, Djibouti was left with a government which enjoyed a balance between the two main ethnic groups, the Issa of Somali origin and the Afar of Ethiopian origin. But the country’s first president, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, installed an authoritarian one-party state dominated by his own Issa community.
Afar resentment erupted into a civil war in the early 1990s, and though Mr Gouled, under French pressure, introduced a limited multi-party system in 1992, the rebels from the Afar party, the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (Frud), were excluded.Thus, Mr Gouled’s Popular Rally for Progress party won every seat and the war went on. It ended in 1994 with a power-sharing deal which brought the main faction of Frud into government. A splinter, radical faction continued to fight until 2000, when it too signed a peace deal with the government of Gouled’s successor, Ismael Omar Guelleh. Mass protests took place after President Guelleh persuaded the National Assembly to amend the constitution to enable him to run for a third term, clearing the way for him to stand in the 2011 election.
|Official languages||French, Arabic|
|Recognised languages||Somali, Afar|
|Government||Dominant-party semi republic|
|President||Ismail Omar Guelleh|
|Prime Minister||Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed|
|GDP||$3 327 Billion|