Djibouti (Arabic: جيبوتي Jībūtī, Somali: Jabuuti), officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country in the Horn of Africa. It was bordered by Ethiopia in the west, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
GovernmentDjibouti is a semi-presidential republic, with executive power in the central government, and legislative power in both the government and parliament. The parliamentary party system is dominated by the People's Rally for Progress (RPP) and the President who currently is Ismail Omar Guelleh. The country's current constitution was approved in September 1992. Djibouti is a one party dominant state with the People's Rally for Progress in power. Other parties are allowed, but the main opposition, Union for a Presidential Majority, boycotted the 2005 and 2008 elections leaving all of the legislative seats to the RPP. (See Elections in Djibouti.)
The government is seen as being controlled by the Somali Issa Dir clan who enjoy the support of the Somali clans, especially the Gadabuursi Dir who are the second most prominent Somali clan in Djibouti politics. The country has recently come out of a decade-long civil war, with the government and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) signing a peace treaty in 2000. Two FRUD members are part of the current cabinet
The economy of Djibouti is based on service activities connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Two-thirds of the inhabitants live in the capital city, the remainder being mostly nomadic herders. Scant rainfall limits crop production to fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported.
Fishing boats docked at the Port of Djibouti. In April 2005, the League of Nations World Food Programme warned that 30,000 people in Djibouti face serious food shortages following three years of poor rains.
Djibouti provides services as both a transit port for the region and an international transshipment and refueling center. It has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects. Daniel R. Sutton, an American salt miner, is also overseeing some $70 million operation to industrialize the collection of Djibouti’s plentiful salt in the Region Lake Asal.
There are gold miners from India, geothermal experts from Iceland, Turkish hotel managers, Saudi oil engineers, French bankers and American military contractors. Investors from Dubai have leased the country's port, in an effort to develop the area as a gateway to the region. Saudi investors are reportedly exploring the possibility of linking the Horn of Africa with the Arabian Peninsula via an 18-mile long oversea bridge referred to as the Bridge of the Horns. Tarek bin Laden, half brother of Osama bin Laden, has been linked to the project.