Geographic and Governmental Profile of Djibouti

Background
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 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 also has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa.
Location
Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia
Geographic coordinates
11 30 N, 43 00 E
Continent / Subcontinent
Africa
Area
total:
23,200 sq km
rank:
151
land:
23,180 sq km
water:
20 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries
total:
516 km
border countries:
Eritrea 109 km, Ethiopia 349 km, Somalia 58 km
Coastline
314 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
desert; torrid, dry
Terrain
coastal plain and plateau separated by central mountains
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Lac Assal -155 m
highest point:
Moussa Ali 2,028 m
Natural resources
potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble, salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum
Land use
arable land:
0.04%
permanent crops:
0%
other:
99.96% (2005)
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Irrigated land
10 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
0.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
0.02 cu km/yr (84%/0%/16%)
per capita:
25 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods
volcanism:
experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (elev. 298 m) last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is also historically active
Environment - current issues
inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification; endangered species
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Djibouti
conventional short form:
Djibouti
local long form:
Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti
local short form:
Djibouti/Jibuti
former:
French Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somaliland
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Djibouti
geographic coordinates:
11 35 N, 43 09 E
time difference:
UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
6 districts (cercles, singular - cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti, Obock, Tadjourah
Independence
27 June 1977 (from France)
Constitution
approved by referendum 4 September 1992; note - constitution allows for multiparties
Legal system
mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in 1997) and Islamic religious law (in matters of family law and successions), and customary law
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)
head of government:
Prime Minister Mohamed Dileita DILEITA (since 4 March 2001)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers responsible to the president
elections:
president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; president is eligible to hold office until age 75; election last held on 8 April 2011 (next to be held by 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
election results:
Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president; percent of vote - Ismail Omar GUELLEH 80.6%, Mohamed Warsama RAGUEH 19.4%
Legislative branch
unicameral Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (65 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - constitutional amendments in 2010 provided for the establishment of a senate
elections:
last held on 8 February 2008 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats - UMP (coalition of parties associated with President Ismail Omar GUELLAH) 65
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court
Political parties and leaders
Democratic National Party or PND [ADEN Robleh Awaleh]; Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Abdillahi HAMARITEH]; Djibouti Development Party or PDD [Mohamed Daoud CHEHEM]; Front pour la Restauration de l'Unite Democratique or FRUD [Ali Mohamed DAOUD]; People's Progress Assembly or RPP [Ismail Omar GUELLEH] (governing party); Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD [Moumin Bahdon FARAH]; Republican Alliance for Democracy or ARD [Ahmed YOUSSOUF]; Union for a Presidential Majority or UMP [Mohamed Dileita DILEITA] (a coalition of parties including RPP, FRUD, PND, and PPSD); Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ
Political pressure groups and leaders
NA
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM, OIC, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Roble OLHAYE Oudine
chancery:
Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone:
[1] (202) 331-0270
FAX:
[1] (202) 331-0302
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Geeta PASI
embassy:
Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti
mailing address:
B. P. 185, Djibouti
telephone:
[253] 35 39 95
FAX:
[253] 35 39 40
Flag description
two equal horizontal bands of light blue (top) and light green with a white isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a red five-pointed star in the center; blue stands for sea and sky and the Issa Somali people; green symbolizes earth and the Afar people; white represents peace; the red star recalls the struggle for independence and stands for unity
National anthem
name:
"Jabuuti" (Djibouti)
lyrics/music:
Aden ELMI/Abdi ROBLEH
adopted 1977
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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