"In A Different World" Djibouti by terps94

Djibouti Travel Guide: 207 reviews and 1,132 photos

Definitely not in Kansas anymore!!

I spent a month here towards the end of my deployment. Even though I'm here for work we tried to explore the culture as much as we can. Djibouti is a third world country so there lot of poverty and abandon infrastructure everywhere especially in the city. So if you ever find yourself in this country you need to realize that even with this living condition this country has some beautiful areas that you can discover and actually enjoy. The water on the outlying island are so clear it's a marked contrast from the water along the port of Djibouti. This country used to be a French colony so you will see their influence on some of the buildings in the city and you'll still notice that the French still has a presence here. So be sure to keep an open mind when you visit this country in the Horn of Africa.

SOME BASIC INFO ABOUT DJIBOUTI:
Population 2002 ............................................ 472,810
GDP per capita 1998 (purchasing power parity, US$)... $1,400
GDP 2002 (purchasing power parity, US$ ).............$.586
Unemployment.....................................................................50%

Average annual growth 1991-97
Population (%) ....... 3.0
Labor force (%) ....... 0

Total Area..................................................................8,494 sq. mi.
Urban population (% of total population) ............................... 83
Life expectancy at birth (years)..................................................... 60
Infant mortality (per 1,000 live births).......................................106
Child malnutrition (% of children under 5) ..............................23
Access to safe water (% of population) ..................................... 80
Illiteracy (% of population age 15+) ............................................. -

info courtesy of historycentral.com

A little Djibouti history

France first obtained a foothold in the region in 1862. French interest centered around Djibouti, the French commercial rival to Aden. By 1896 it was organized as a colony and in 1946 it became a territory within the French Union . Membership in the French Community followed in 1958. The political status of the territory was determined by a referendum in 1967, in which the Afar population, until then the group that had the lesser voice in government, gained political ascendancy with French support. The Afar opted for a continuation of the connection with France, whereas the Somali voted for independence and eventual union with Somalia.

France officially recognized Djibouti's independence in 1977. In the three years that followed, the Afar and Issa-Somali communities struggled to obtain control over the government. In 1979, efforts were made to unite the two ethnic groups through the formation of the People's Progress Assembly (RPP). In 1981, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, president since independence, established the RPP as the only legal political party in the country.

Despite its attempts at peacemaking, Djibouti has been adversely affected by warfare in and between neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia. Moreover, beginning in 1991, tensions between Afars and the Issa-dominated government resulted in an Afar rebellion. A reconciliation agreement was reached in 1994, but the last remaining rebel group signed a peace accord only in 2001. Djibouti was the base of operations for French forces during the Persian Gulf War , and the French remain a strong military and technical presence. The United States also established a military presence in the nation beginning in 2002.

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. Guelleh was reelected in 2005, but the opposition refused to contest the election, believing that the government would rig the vote.

Djibouti history cont.

Land and People

Strategically situated, Djibouti commands Bab el Mandeb , the strait between the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Largely a stony desert with isolated plateaus and highlands, it has a generally dry and hot climate. Lake Assal, the lowest point in Africa (509 ft/155 m below sea level), is in the center of the country. Djibouti is divided into five administrative districts. The population is about 60% Somali (of which the Issa constitute some 40%) and 35% Afar (of Ethiopian origin); both groups are Muslim. In addition, large numbers of refugees from Ethiopian civil wars settled in Djibouti from 1975 to 1991. Two thirds of the people live in the capital city, and the rest are nomadic herders. Official languages are French and Arabic; Somali and Afar are both widely used.

  • Last visit to Djibouti: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated May 4, 2006
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Reviews (11)

Comments (7)

  • mesoblonda's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2007 at 2:20 PM

    So my brownies will be known all over the world, not just in California! Hope you're well...

  • scubaozgirl's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 6:04 PM

    Camel spiders......good grief ur kidding right???? My skin is crawling at the thought....

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM

    Edgar great to see your Djibouti page up thanks or a long while I was alone. I sered in the embassy from 85 to 87 you did a great page nice photos

  • hindu1936's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2006 at 11:52 PM

    good to learn these things. we will ship from there to either India or Oman, depending upon the political situation and knowing the road condition is good. thanks.

  • Maria250's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2006 at 1:15 PM

    Thanks for checking. And like a lot your pics & infos on Djibouti. Awesome!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2006 at 11:39 AM

    Hi, Edgar, what brought you there? Great tips , thanks , very remote destination, very vague,,,you enlightened me, thanx!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2006 at 3:06 AM

    At least looking at your photos makes me feel warmer LOL. Did you buy one of those daggers??

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