Portal:Djibouti

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Introduction

Flag of Djibouti.svg

Djibouti (/ɪˈbti/ jih-BOO-tee; Arabic: جيبوتيJībūtī, French: Djibouti, Somali: Jabuuti, Afar: Gabuuti), officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east. Djibouti occupies a total area of just 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi).

In antiquity, the territory was part of the Land of Punt and then the Kingdom of Aksum. Nearby Zeila (now in Somalia) was the seat of the medieval Adal and Ifat Sultanates. In the late 19th century, the colony of French Somaliland was established following treaties signed by the ruling Somali and Afar sultans with the French and its railroad to Dire Dawa (and later Addis Ababa) allowed it to quickly supersede Zeila as the port for southern Ethiopia and the Ogaden. It was subsequently renamed to the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas in 1967. A decade later, the Djiboutian people voted for independence. This officially marked the establishment of the Republic of Djibouti, named after its capital city. Djibouti joined the United Nations the same year, on 20 September 1977. In the early 1990s, tensions over government representation led to armed conflict, which ended in a power-sharing agreement in 2000 between the ruling party and the opposition.

Djibouti is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 942,333 inhabitants. Somali, Arabic and French are the country's three official languages. About 94% of residents adhere to Islam, which is the official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than a thousand years. The Somali (Issa clan) and Afar make up the two largest ethnic groups. Both speak Afroasiatic languages.

Selected article

Arabic albayancalligraphy.svg

Arabic (العربية al-ʿarabīyah, (About this sound Arabic pronunciation ) or عربي ʿarabi) is a Central Semitic language, thus related to and classified alongside other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and the Neo-Aramaic languages. Arabic has more speakers than any other language in the Semitic language family. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language, most of whom live in the Middle East and North Africa, and by 250 million more as a second language. Arabic has many different, geographically-distributed spoken varieties, some of which are mutually unintelligible. Modern Standard Arabic is widely taught in schools, universities, and used in workplaces, government and the media.

Modern Standard Arabic derives from Classical Arabic, the only surviving member of the Old North Arabian dialect group, attested in Pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions dating back to the 4th century. Classical Arabic has also been a literary language and the liturgical language of Islam since its inception in the 7th century.

Arabic has lent many words to other languages of the Islamic world. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it. (Read more...)

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Djibouti Army stand at attention.jpg
Credit: Carlotta Holley

Members of the Djibouti Army stand at attention at the closing ceremonies of the multi-national, Eastern Africa Standby Force Field Training Exercise in Grand Bara, Djibouti, 4 December 2009.

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Selected biography

Ali Mohamed Daoud, also known as Jean-Marie (born 28 August 1950), is a Djiboutian politician and the President of the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD). He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Djibouti.

Daoud is a member of the Afar ethnic group. FRUD, fighting on behalf of Afar interests, began a rebellion against the Issa-dominated government in 1991. Daoud led the moderate faction of FRUD in signing a peace agreement with the government in December 1994. As a result of the agreement, he joined the government (together with one other FRUD member, Secretary-General Ougouré Kiflé Ahmed) as Minister of Public Health and Social Affairs on 8 June 1995. Daoud's faction of FRUD also allied with the governing People's Rally for Progress (RPP). On 15–16 April 1997, FRUD held its First Congress; Daoud, who was already FRUD President, remained in that position at the congress. Daoud was elected to the National Assembly in the December 1997 parliamentary election as the first candidate on the joint candidate list of the RPP and FRUD for Tadjourah Region.

(Read more...)

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