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September 18, 2019  
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Djibouti: Background & Country Profile

Introduction 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 three consecutive six-year terms as president. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990's led to multi-party elections resulting in President Ismail Omar GUELLEH attaining office in May 1999. A peace accord in 2001 ended the final phases of a ten-year uprising by Afar rebels. Djibouti occupies a very 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. GUELLEH favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country.

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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