General Country Information

Since gaining independence from France in 1977, Djibouti politics have been dominated by the precarious balance between the Issa of Somali origin and the Afar of Ethiopian origin. The current head of state, Ismail Omar Guellah, was elected in 1999 in the country’s first multi-party presidential elections. He was re-elected to a second and final term in 2005.

Djibouti is an authoritarian one-party state with the People's Rally for Progress in power. Opposition parties are allowed, but have no real chance of gaining power. Djibouti maintains strong ties with France.

The population was estimated at nearly 500,000 in 2007.

Sunni Islam is the dominant religion.

Although French and Arabic are the official languages, Somali and Afar are widely spoken.

About 68 percent of the population is literate.

More general information is available at BBC Country Profile and at Wikipedia in both English and Arabic.

Official information can be found at the website of the Presidency in French.