Djibouti, the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH as president;

Djibouti, is located in a small corner ofAfrica. In Djibouti people are very big on speaking French and Arabic. It isalso filled with dry shrublands, volcanic formations and Gulf of Aden beaches.Here lies one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, the low-lying LakeAssal, in the Danakil Desert. The French Territory of the Afars and the Issasbecame Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarianone-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999.

Unrest amongthe Afar minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 with apeace accord between Afar rebels and the Somali Issa-dominated government. In1999, Djibouti’s first multiparty presidential election resulted in theelection of Ismail Omar GUELLEH as president; he was reelected to a second termin 2005 and extended his tenure in office via a constitutional amendment, whichallowed him to serve a third term in 2011 and begin a fourth term in 2016.Djibouti occupies a strategic geographic location at the intersection of theRed Sea and the Gulf of Aden and serves as an important shipping portal forgoods entering and leaving the east African highlands and transshipmentsbetween Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

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The government holds longstandingties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country,and has strong ties with the US. Djibouti hosts several thousand members of USarmed services at US-run Camp Lemonnier.Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf ofAden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia.Slightly smaller than newjersey.

potential geothermal power, gold, clay, granite, limestone, marble,salt, diatomite, gypsum, pumice, petroleum.earthquakes; droughts; occasionalcyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floodsvolcanism: experiences limited volcanic activity; Ardoukoba (298 m) lasterupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border, is alsohistorically active.Environment – current issues:inadequate supplies of potable water; limited arable land; desertification;endangered species.strategic location near world’s busiest shipping lanes andclose to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostlywasteland; Lac Assal (Lake Assal) is the lowest point in Africa and thesaltiest lake in the world.865,267 (July 2017 est.)country comparison to the world: 162Nationality:noun: Djiboutian(s)adjective: DjiboutianEthnic groups:Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)Languages:French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, AfarReligions:Muslim 94%, Christian 6%.

Djibouti is a poor, predominantly urban country,characterized by high rates of illiteracy, unemployment, and childhoodmalnutrition. More than 75% of the population lives in cities and towns(predominantly in the capital, Djibouti). The rural population subsistsprimarily on nomadic herding. Prone to droughts and floods, the country has fewnatural resources and must import more than 80% of its food from neighboringcountries or Europe.

Health care, particularly outside the capital, is limitedby poor infrastructure, shortages of equipment and supplies, and a lack ofqualified personnel. More than a third of health care recipients are migrantsbecause the services are still better than those available in their neighboringhome countries. The nearly universal practice of female genital cuttingreflects Djibouti’s lack of gender equality and is a majorcontributor to obstetrical complications and its high rates of maternal andinfant mortality. A 1995 law prohibiting the practice has never been enforced.Because of its political stability and its strategic location at the confluenceof East Africa and the Gulf States along the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, Djiboutiis a key transit point for migrants and asylum seekers heading for the GulfStates and beyond. Each year some hundred thousand people, mainly Ethiopiansand some Somalis, journey through Djibouti, usually to the port of Obock, toattempt a dangerous sea crossing to Yemen.

However, with the escalation of theongoing Yemen conflict, Yemenis began fleeing to Djibouti in March 2015, withalmost 20,000 arriving by August 2017. Most Yemenis remain unregistered andhead for Djibouti City rather than seeking asylum at one of Djibouti’s threespartan refugee camps. Djibouti has been hosting refugees and asylum seekers,predominantly Somalis and lesser numbers of Ethiopians and Eritreans, at campsfor 20 years, despite lacking potable water, food shortages, and unemployment.mostdensely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with apopulation over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total populationover 50,000.Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: highfood or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, andtyphoid fevervectorborne disease: dengue fever (2016).Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Djibouticonventional short form: Djiboutilocal long form: Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibutilocal short form: Djibouti/Jibutiformer: French Territory of the Afars and Issas, French Somalilandetymology: the country name derives from the capital city of DjiboutiGovernment type:semi-presidential republicCapital:name: Djiboutigeographic coordinates: 11 35 N, 43 09 Etime difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)Administrative divisions:6 districts (cercles, singular – cercle); Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Djibouti,Obock, TadjourahIndependence:27 June 1977 (from France)National holiday:Independence Day, 27 June (1977)Constitution:history: approved by referendum 4 September 1992amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the NationalAssembly; Assembly consideration of proposals requires assent by at leastone-third of the membership; passage requires a simple majority vote by theAssembly and approval by simple majority vote in a referendum; the presidentcan opt to bypass a referendum if adopted by at least two-thirds majority voteof the Assembly; constitutional articles on the sovereignty of Djibouti, itsrepublican form of government, and its pluralist form of democracy cannot byamended; amended 2006, 2008, 2010 (2017)Legal system:mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in1997), Islamic religious law (in matters of family law and successions), andcustomary lawInternational law organization participation:accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCtjurisdictionCitizenship:citizenship by birth: nocitizenship by descent only: the mother must be a citizen of Djiboutidual citizenship recognized: noresidency requirement for naturalization: 10 yearsSuffrage:18 years of age; universalExecutive branch:chief of state: President Ismail Omar GUELLEH (since 8 May 1999)head of government: Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil MOHAMED (since 1 April2013)cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime ministerelections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popularvote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term; (constitution amended in 2010 toallow a third term); election last held on 8 April 2016 (next to be held by2021); prime minister appointed by the presidentelection results: Ismail Omar GUELLEH reelected president for a fourth term;percent of vote – Ismail Omar GUELLEH (RPP) 87%, Omar Elmi KHAIREH (CDU) 7.3%,other 5.6%Legislative branch:description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale, formerly theChamber of Deputies (65 seats; 52 members directly elected in multi-seatconstituencies by simple majority vote and 13 directly elected in multi-seatconstituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)elections: last held on 22 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018)election results: percent of vote by party – UMP 61.5%, USN 35.6%, CDU 3%;seats by party – UMP 43, USN 21, CDU 1Judicial branch:highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA magistrates);Constitutional Council (consists of 6 magistrates)judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court magistrates appointed by thepresident with the advice of the Superior Council of the Magistracy or CSM, a10-member body consisting of 4 judges, 3 members (non parliamentarians andjudges) appointed by the president, and 3 appointed by the National Assemblypresident or speaker; magistrates appointed for life with retirement at age 65;Constitutional Council magistrate appointments – 2 by the president of therepublic, 2 by the president of the National Assembly, and 2 by the CSM;magistrates appointed for 8-year, non-renewable termssubordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; 5 Courts of First Instance; customarycourts; State Court (replaced sharia courts in 2003)Political parties and leaders:Center for United Democrats or CDU Omar Elmi KHAIREH, chairmanDemocratic Renewal Party or PRD Abdillahi HAMARITEHDjibouti Development Party or PDD Mohamed Daoud CHEHEMFront for Restoration of Unity and Democracy (Front pour la Restauration de l’UniteDemocratique) or FRUD Ali Mohamed DAOUDMovement for Democratic Renewal and Development Daher Ahmed FARAHMovement for Development and Liberty or MODEL Ismail Ahmed WABERINational Democratic Party or PND Aden Robleh AWALEHPeople’s Rally for Progress or RPP Ismail Omar GUELLEH (governing party)Peoples Social Democratic Party or PPSD Hasna Moumin BAHDONRepublican Alliance for Democracy or ARDUnion for a Presidential Majority or UMP (a coalition of parties including RPP,FRUD, PND, and PPSD)Union for Democracy and Justice or UDJ Ilya Ismail GUEDI HaredUnion for National Salvation or USN Ahmed Youssouf HOUMED.lag description:two equal horizontal bands of light blue (top) and light green with a whiteisosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a red five-pointed star inthe center; blue stands for sea and sky and the Issa Somali people; greensymbolizes earth and the Afar people; white represents peace; the red starrecalls the struggle for independence and stands for unityNational symbol(s):red star; national colors: light blue, green, white, redNational anthem:name: “Jabuuti” (Djibouti).Djibouti Armed Forces (Forces ArmeesDjiboutiennes, FAD): Djibouti National Army (includes Navy, Djiboutian AirForce (Force Aerienne Djiboutienne, FAD), National Gendarmerie (GN)) (2013)Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age forvoluntary military training; no conscription (2012)Maritime threats:while attacks continued to decrease, the International Maritime Bureau reportsoffshore waters in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden remain a high risk for piracy;the presence of several naval task forces in the Gulf of Aden and additionalanti-piracy measures on the part of ship operators, including the use ofon-board armed security teams, contributed to the drop in incidents; there wereno incidents in the Red Sea in 2016, however one ship was fired upon during thefirst half of 2017; Operation Ocean Shield, the NATO/EUNAVFOR naval task forceestablished in 2009 to combat Somali piracy, concluded its operations inDecember 2016 as a result of the drop in reported incidents over the last fewyears.