Djibouti Politics

Djibouti Politics, Population and Geography

Background: The French Territory of Afar and Issa became the Republic of Djibouti in 1977. A peace agreement signed in 1994 ended a three-year Afar uprising. See to know more about Djibouti History.


Location: East Africa, on the coast of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia.
Geographical coordinates: 11° 30′ N. latitude, 43° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 22,000 square kilometers; land surface area: 21,980 km2; water surface area: 20 sq. km.
Comparative area: slightly smaller than Massachusetts.
Land borders: total length: 508 km; with neighboring states: with Eritrea 113 km, with Ethiopia 337 km, with Somalia 58 km.
Coastline: 314 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: desert; sultry, dry.
Terrain: coastal plain and plateau, separated by mountains in the center of the country.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Lake Assal -155 m; highest point: Mount Mussa Ali 2,028 m.
Natural resources: geothermal springs.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 9%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 91% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: earthquakes; droughts; rare cyclones that bring heavy rains from the Indian Ocean, causing floods.
Actual environmental problems: insufficient supplies of drinking water; desertification.
International environmental agreements: member: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Law of the sea, Ozone layer protection, Ship pollution; signed but not ratified: no.
Geography note: strategic location close to the world’s busiest waterways and close to oil fields in the Arab world; the station from which the railway line to Ethiopia begins; mostly barren desert.


Population: 460,700 people (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 42.58% (men 98,314; women 97,859); 15 to 64 years: 54.58% (male 132,619; female 118,841); over 65: 2.84% (male 6,787; female 6,280) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.6% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 40.66 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 14.66 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male/female; up to 15 years: 1 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.12 male/female; over 65: 1.08 male/female; for the general population: 1.07 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 101.51 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 51.21 years; men: 49.37 years; women: 53.1 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 5.72 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: 11.75% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 37,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 3,100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: resident of Djibouti; adjective: Djiboutian.
Ethnic groups: Somalis 60%, Afars 35%, French, Arabs, Ethiopians and Italians 5%.
Believers: Muslims 94%, Christians 6%.
Language(s): French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 46.2%; men: 60.3%; women: 32.7% (1995 est.). State Name:


conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti;
conventional short form: Djibouti; former: French Territory of Afarov and Issa, French Coast of Somalia.
State structure: republic.
Capital: Djibouti.
Administrative division: 5 districts (cercle): Ali Sabih, Djibouti, Dikhil, Obock, Tadjoura.
Independence: from June 27, 1977 (until 1977 – the French territory of the Afars and Issas).
National holiday: Independence Day, June 27 (1977).
Constitution: multi-party constitution approved by referendum on September 4, 1992.
Legal system: based on the French civil law system, tradition and Islamic law.
Suffrage: there is no data on the electoral qualification; for adults – universal.
chief of state: President GUELLEH Ismail Omar (since 1999);
head of government: Prime Minister DILLEITA Mohamed Dilleita (since 8 May 2001);
Government: the Council of Ministers, responsible to the President; elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; elections last held 9 April 1999 (next to be held in 2005); the prime minister is appointed by the president; election results: GUELLE Ismail Omar elected president; distribution of votes – Guelle Ismail Omar 74.4%, IDRIS Moussa Ahmed (IDRIS Moussa Ahmed) 25.6%.
Legislature: Chamber of Deputies (65 members elected by popular vote for a five-year term); elections: last held 19 December 1997 (next to be held in 2002); election results: percentage of votes – no data; number of members – RPP 65; note – the RPP (ruling party) dominated the elections.
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic National Party (PND) (ADEN Robleh Awaleh); Democratic Renewal Party (PRD) (Abdillahi HAMARITEH); People’s Progress Assembly (RPP) (GUELLE Ismail Omar), ruling party.
Political pressure groups and their leaders: Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) and related organizations; Movement for Unity and Democracy (MUD).
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador ROBLE Olhaye Oudine; office: Suite 515, 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005; phone: [1] (202) 331-0270; fax: [\] (202) 331-0302.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Donald YAMAMOTO; embassy: Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Mare-chal Joffre, Djibouti; mailing address: W. R. 185, Djibouti; phone: [253] 35 39 95; fax: [253] 35 39 40.
Description of the flag: two equal horizontal stripes of blue (top) and light green with a white isosceles triangle (with a base at the pole), in the center of which is a red five-pointed star.

Djibouti Politics