Djibouti. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Djibouti. Ismail Umar Guelleh, candidate for the ruling party National Collection for Progress (Rassemblement Populaire pour le Progrès, RPP), was elected April 9 as new president of Djibouti. Former president, 83-year-old Hassan Gouled Aptidon, had decided to step down after holding power since 1977. Guelleh received 74% of the vote. The turnout was about 60%.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of DJU which stands for Djibouti and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
The opposition within Djibouti’s united opposition (the Opposition Djiboutienne Unifiée, ODU) had agreed on a candidate, former freedom fighter Musua Ahmad Idriss. After the election, he accused Guelleh of cheating. In September, Idriss was arrested and placed under house arrest. The cause was said to be an article in his political body, the monthly magazine Temps, which criticized the government’s efforts to curb unrest in the northern part of the country. A relative of Idriss was killed in connection with the arrest.
Earlier in September, two opposition journalists, Ali Hehidal Waiss and Daher Ahmad Farah, had been sentenced to eight and twelve months in prison, among others. for producing “fake news”.
Located in the Horn of Africa and facing the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti is placed in one of the most delicate geopolitical areas in the world, at the center of strong political and economic interests. Approximately 4% of the world’s oil trade by ship passes through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which divides Djibouti and Yemen by joining the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean. In recent years the area has become increasingly important from a strategic point of view both for the instability affecting Somalia and Yemen, and as an indispensable base for international anti-piracy and anti-terrorism operations in the region.
Djibouti is a former French colony, independent since 1977. As a legacy of Paris’ influence, it still hosts the largest French military base in Africa today. For some years, however, the presence of the USA has been added to Camp Lemonnier, the only permanent base in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Predator and Reaper drones are located, used in surveillance and attack missions against active Qaidist militias. in Yemen and Somalia. At the regional level, the most important relations are with Ethiopia: a large part of Ethiopian trade passes through Djibouti. The link with Addis Ababa is made stronger by the disputes that the two countries have in common with Eritrea, with which Djibouti still has open territorial disputes. On the international level, Djibouti is an ally of the main Euro-Atlantic actors and cooperates with France and the USA in anti-terrorism. In May 2014, the country was the subject of an attack, perpetrated by the terrorist group al-Shabaab, with the official aim of targeting the French for their role in training Djibouti troops in Somalia.
The Djiboutian population is made up of two main ethnic groups, the Issa, of Somali origin, and the Afar, of Ethiopian origin. The strong man is President Ismael Omar Guelleh, in office since 1999, accused inside and outside the country of excessive centralization of powers and violation of civil and political rights against the opposition. 94% of the population is Muslim and Islam is the state religion. Although the judicial system is based on French civil law, Sharia law prevails in family matters.
The link between Djibouti and Ethiopia is also evident in the economic field: more than 80% of Djiboutian exports are made up of re-exports of Ethiopian products. Such a link is necessary because Ethiopia is landlocked. The products are mainly directed to UAE, Yemen and Ethiopia. Economic activity takes place almost entirely around the port of Djibouti, an important regional commercial hub. Consequently, the industrial and agricultural sectors are not very developed – also penalized by the conditions of the territory, almost 90% desert-like. The port traffic of Djibouti, which decreased in the two-year period 2009-10 due to competition with the port of Aden in Yemen, started to grow again, also driving the national economy, with a GDP growth of 6.5% in 2015. hub at the regional level. The only major communication route is the Djibouti-Addis Ababa railway which represents the country’s most important infrastructure. The construction of a bridge is planned to join the two banks of the Bab al-Mandab strait. The work, currently under construction, would make it possible to connect the African continent to the Arabian Peninsula by land.