World Country Djibouti

About the world country Djibouti, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

DJIBOUTI

Location: On the African side of the Bab el Mandeb strait, at the southern end of the Red Sea. Size: 8,494 sq. mi. (22,000 sq. km.). Population: 333,000 (50% Issa, 40% Afar).

Who Really Rules: Called the French Territory of Afars and Issas until 1977, Djibouti is still essentially a French protectorate, made up of Afars, an Ethiopian ethnic group, and Issas, who are ethnic Somalis. Independence marked the ascendancy of the Issas over the Afars, who were favored during French rule. The president is an Issa; the prime minister is an Afar.

Internal ethnic rivalries are overshadowed by the ongoing hostilities between neighboring Somalia and Ethiopia. Djibouti is officially neutral, but the two groups readily identify with their ethnic brethren. Djibouti also hosts an estimated 35,000 refugees, primarily from the secessionist Ethiopian region of Eritrea.

France and Saudi Arabia both supply millions of dollars to the fledgling nation. France also stations 3,650 air, ground, and naval personnel in Djibouti.

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