Djibouti History

By | September 24, 2021

Djibouti (Djibouti), republic on the northeast coast of Africa. The country is predominantly a flat semi-desert (with salt lakes) that is hardly economically viable. Over half of the population is crowded in the capital of the same name. The service sector dominates here, and Djibouti is a trade hub for the region due to its location.

The area, which had been under Arab rule since the 16th century, came under French influence in 1862 and became independent in 1977.


Djibouti borders Eritrea in the northwest, Ethiopia in the southwest and Somalia in the southeast.

Djibouti is located on the Gulf of Tadjoura, the far western part of the Gulf of Aden, which extends far into the country. The 80 km long Gulf of Tadjoura is still 55 km wide at the entrance between the city of Djibouti and the town of Obock and then tapers off sharply. Djibouti, located in the Afar Depression, is one of the most inhospitable areas on earth. In the predominantly flat semi-desert there are salt plains and salt lakes such as the Abbé and Assal lakes, which at 173 m below sea level form the deepest point on the African continent.

The mostly tabular land surface rises in the north to the volcanic chain of the Mablagebirge, in the west to the clump-like Danakilberge and in the south to the Bara Quin plateau. The highest point in the country is the Moussa Ali volcano (2 028 m above sea level) in the triangle of Djibouti / Eritrea / Ethiopia. The Godaberg National Park is located in the center of the country.


The area of ​​today’s Djibouti was already known to the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, was under Arab rule since the 7th century, under Turkish rule since the 16th century, and came under French influence in the middle of the 19th century. Between 1862 and 1885 the territory was acquired by France through treaties with the Afar and Issa, and in 1896 it was declared a colony of French Somaliland. It remained after 1960 as the only French colony on the African mainland with the status of a French overseas territory within the French Republic. In 1967 it decided to remain with France as the Afar and Issa Territory. On May 8, 1977, 98% of the population of the Afar and Issa Territory voted in a referendum (turnout 77%) for the establishment of an independent Republic of Djibouti. H. G. Aptidon, an Issa. However, France continued to secure military bases and economic influence. In terms of foreign policy, neutral and oriented towards good relations with the neighboring states of Somalia and Ethiopia as well as with France and the Arab League, Aptidon became internally after the re-election(1981) Declared Djibouti a one-party state (Rassemblement populaire pour le Progrès [RPP]). In the mid-1980s there were increasing calls for democratization, which v. a. articulated by the Afar, who are disadvantaged in public life. In 1991 the situation escalated into an open military conflict between government troops (indirectly supported by French units) and units of the rebelling Afar under the leadership of the Front pour la Restauration de l’Unité et de la Démocratie (FRUD), who temporarily managed to occupy larger areas in the To bring the north of the country under their control (armistice on November 25, 1991). A multiparty system was introduced in September 1992 amid persistent tensions. In the parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition on December 7th. In 1992 the ruling party won all seats. In the presidential election on May 7, 1993 was Aptidon confirmed in office. Thereafter, the conflict between the Afar opposition and the Issa government escalated into a civil war, in the course of which the government troops prevailed. After ongoing guerrilla actions, a peace agreement was reached between the government and moderate FRUD forces on December 27, 1994, and the parliamentary elections on December 19, 1997 for the RPP alliance and the FRUD’s moderate wing, legalized in 1996, to win.

The new President of the Republic was I. O. Guelleh (RPP), a nephew of Aptidon who did not run again from the elections on April 9, 1999. The government alliance Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle (UMP) won the parliamentary elections in January 2003 and February 2008 and received all parliamentary seats. In 2008 fighting broke out between troops from both countries on the border with Eritrea. In 2010, the governments agreed on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Guelleh was confirmed by the population in the presidency in 2005 and 2011. On February 18, 2011, the unrest in the Arab world spilled over to Djibouti. The protests were directed against the president, who had changed the constitution the previous year so that he could be elected a third time. The unrest was stopped by the security forces by force. Parliamentary elections were held on February 22, 2013 and were won by the UMP. The opposition, united in the Union pour le Salut National (USN), which boycotted the 2008 elections, was able to send members to the parliament for the first time. However, the USN accused the UMP of election fraud. In the last presidential election on April 8, 2016, I. O. Guelleh the mandate for a further term of office with 87.1% of the votes. In the parliamentary elections on February 23, 2018, which were boycotted by the main opposition forces, the UMP won 57 out of 65 seats.

According to prozipcodes, Djibouti serves as a base to fight international terrorism and piracy in the Horn of Africa. In addition to France, other countries also have military bases there, such as the USA and Japan. In 2014, Djibouti signed a security agreement with the People’s Republic of China. Based on this agreement, China opened its first foreign military base in Djibouti in 2017. According to the agreement, which runs until 2026, the People’s Republic may station up to 10,000 soldiers there.

Djibouti History