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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.


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Geography

Location
Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia

Geographic coordinates
11 30 N, 43 00 E

Map references
Africa

Area World Ranking: 151
Total 23,200 sq km
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)

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


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  Djibouti (Djibouti City):


  GPS points from Djibouti (Djibouti City)

Hadla Weyn Djibouti (general)

Gahi Maba Djibouti (general)

Barrager Djibouti (general)

Rocher Des Goelands Djibouti (general)

Dano Dabba Djibouti (general)

Alaile Guera Djibouti (general)

Kobbog Djibouti (general)

Kadda Ourwali Djibouti (general)




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