The Republic Of Djibouti Essay

1303 words - 6 pages

The Republic of Djibouti
With the beginning of ancient times, the area known now as Djibouti, has been placed in a grand category of countries residing in East Africa. Djibouti, officially known as The Republic of Djibouti is a country that has much substance and significant history in Africa. It is located in Northeastern Africa, in-between Eritrea and Somalia, and borders the Gulf of Aden as well as the Red Sea. The country is very small measuring only 8,800 square miles, similar to the size of New Jersey located in the United States. It also holds around 800,000 people which can be compared to the population of the District of Columbia. Strategically placed by bodies of water, Djibouti has trading advantages that inland countries do not and that creates opportunities for the inhabitants of the area.
Historically, the area known as Djibouti was part of the Land of Punt. The Land of Punt was an Egyptian trading post recognized for producing and exporting many valuable resources. The area inhabited those people of Somali and Afar ethnic groups. These groups came from larger kingdoms that ruled by names of Ifat Sultanate (Somali) & Adal Sultanate (Afar)

Djibouti can be said to be a multi-ethic country including groups such as the Afar, Somali, Arabs, Ethiopians, and Europeans. Although the country fosters these different groups, only the Somali and Afar people make up the majority. Sixty percent of people living in Djibouti are of the Somali ethic group and around thirty-five percent are Afar. The Somali clan is mostly composed of the Issas and Gadabuursi which are considered sub-clans. Djibouti is also a muli-lingual country with the majority of its people speaking Somali or Afar as a first language, connected to the same ethnic groups respectively. Although the two main languages spoken are Somali and Afar, the official languages of the country are Arabic and that of French. They speak Modern Standard Arabic for social, cultural and religious purposes and the other because it is a former colony of France.
Around the years of 1839-1842, France began having interest in the Djiboutian coast. British activity and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 also grew French interest in this area. France and the governing Issas and Afar would sign different treaties between the years of 1883-1887 which would allow them to expand the protectorate to include the Gulf of Tadjoura. French ambassador Leonce Lagarde was set in place to serve as governor. During his career he would set up a permanent French administration in Djibouti, the city, and rename the region French Somaliland. Years later, in 1958, French Somaliland had the decision to either join the Somali Republic or remain with France through a referendum held in the city of Djibouti. The result of this referendum favored to remain with France due to votes by the Afar people and dwelling Europeans. Other residents believed that the voting was rigged because the majority, Somali, voted against...

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