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The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. In 1999, Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH; he was re-elected to a second and final term in 2005. Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but is also developing stronger ties with the US. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa and is a front-line state in the global war on terrorism.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 496,374 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Djiboutian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Djiboutian

Official Language(s): French, Arabic

Major Languages Spoken: Arabic, French, Somali, Afar

Map of Djibouti

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Djibouti

Country Name (short form): Djibouti

Country Name (local long form): Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti

Country Name (local short form): Djibouti/Jibuti

Name of Capital: Djibouti

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Djibouti: Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia

Land Area: 22980 sq km

Water Area: 20 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than Massachusetts

Total Land Boundry: 516 km

Coastline: 314 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 27 June (1977)

International Phone Code: 253

Currency Code: Djiboutian franc (DJF)

Internet Country Code: .dj

US Embassy Location: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti

US Embassy Mailing Address: B. P. 185, Djibouti


Djibouti flag

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