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State

Capital

Djibouti

Djibuti

Currency unit

Djibuti franc

Connections

East Africa

Ethiopia

Francophonia

Islam

Somalia

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

This territory has been known as French Somaliland and in the last years of the colonial regime was the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. The Issas are a clan of the Somali people; the Afars are found mainly in Ethiopia. It was given this name in an attempt to prevent Somalia claiming the area.

It is a city state whose main importance is that it is a harbor at the mouth of the Red Sea and a French naval base for the Indian Ocean, comparable to Aden on the opposite side of the straits. It also possesses the only rail link into Ethiopia.

The French occupied the territory in 1862. The railway was begun in 1897 and completed in 1917. The French troops in Djibouti supported the Vichy regime during the second world war.

Independence came in 1977 but the French are still there in force so that the government is regarded as something of a French puppet. The French army still patrols the borders and French civil servants "advise" the government.

Somalia regards the territory as part of historic Greater Somalia. But at present there is no effective government in Somalia.

Now that the Eritrean war has come to an end, the Afars are reasserting themselves. They are excluded from the government and are in revolt, with some help from across the border in Ethiopia.This could be classified as a civil war. It is possible that in the long run the territory may be split between Ethiopia and Somalia. If the Ethiopian government achieves control of its own territory it will wish to exercise influence over Djibuti in order to safeguard the port.

It remains mainly a French base. There is also a US base to watch out for Islamic terrorism from Yemen and Somalia.

Languages

Somali

Arabic

French

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

The government does not represent all the people but is predominantly Issa (Somali). The exclusion of the Afars is already leading to an incipient civil war.

It has been described as a dictatorship - there were elections but more than half the population did not vote and they are described as having been "rigged" . The president is in his 80s so change may be on the way.

The French are sometimes said to be the real rulers, to maintain their military base.

February 2011 has seen disturbances like those in the Arab world - though the people are not Arabs.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

The French army is the main source of income.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Torture, arbitrary arrest, massacres.

Climate effects

Last revised 19/02/11


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