Djibouti History

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History

Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city. This suggests that the Adal Sultanate with Zeila as its headquarters dates back to at least at least the 9th or 10th century. At its height, the Adal kingdom controlled large parts of modern-day Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

On 14 April 1884 the Commander of the patrol sloop L'Inferent reported on the Egyptian occupation in the Gulf of Tadjoura. The Commander of the patrol sloop Le Vaudreuil reported that the Egyptians were occupying the interior between Obock and Tadjoura. Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia signed an accord with Great Britain to cease fighting the Egyptians and to allow the evacuation of Egyptian forces from Ethiopia and the Somalia littoral. The Egyptian garrison was withdrawn from Tadjoura. Léonce Lagarde deployed a patrol sloop to Tadjoura the following night.

From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock and was ruled by Somali and Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 to first gain a foothold in the region. In 1894, a permanent French administration was established in the city of Djibouti and named the region French Somaliland. It lasted from 1896 until 1967, when it was renamed the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.

In 1958, on the eve of neighboring Somalia's independence in 1960, a referendum was held in Djibouti to decide whether to remain with France or to join the Somali Republic. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France, partly due to a combined yes vote by the sizable Afar ethnic group and resident Europeans. There were also allegations of widespread vote rigging. The majority of those who had voted no were Somalis who were strongly in favour of joining a united Somalia as had been proposed by Mahmoud Harbi, Vice President of the Government Council.

In 1967, a second plebiscite was held to determine the fate of the territory. Initial results supported a continued but looser relationship with France. Voting was also divided along ethnic lines, with the resident Somalis generally voting for independence, with the goal of eventual union with Somalia, and the Afars largely opting to remain associated with France. The referendum was again marred by reports of vote rigging on the part of the French authorities. In 1976, members of the Front de Libération de la Côte des Somalis also clashed with the Gendarmerie National Intervention Group over a bus hijacking en route to Loyada. Shortly after the plebiscite was held, the former French Somaliland was renamed to Territoire français des Afars et des Issas.

In 1977, a third referendum took place. A landslide 98.8% of the electorate supported disengagement from France, officially marking Djibouti's independence.[39][40] Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a Somali politician who had campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum of 1958, eventually wound up as the nation's first president (1977–1999).[34]

In the early 1990s, tensions over government representation led to armed conflict between Djibouti's ruling People's Rally for Progress party and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy opposition group. The impasse ended in a power-sharing agreement in 2000.
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Timeline

1285 - The Sultan Umar's military expedition was an effort to consolidate the Muslim territories in the Horn, in much the same way as Emperor Yekuno Amlak was attempting to unite the Christian territories in the highlands during the same period. Ifat was finally defeated by Emperor Amda Seyon I of Ethiopia in 1332
1415 – 1577 Islam was introduced to the area early on from the Arabian peninsula
1884 - Egyptian occupation was reported in the Gulf of Tadjoura. Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia signed an accord with Great Britain to cease fighting the Egyptians and to allow the evacuation of Egyptian forces from Ethiopia and the Somalia littoral
1862 - 1894 The land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock and was ruled by Somali and Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887
1894 - A permanent French administration was established in the city of Djibouti and named the region French Somaliland. It lasted from 1896 until 1967, when it was renamed the"French Territory of the Afars and the Issas
1958 - On the eve of neighboring Somalia's independence in 1960, a referendum was held in Djibouti to decide whether to remain with France or to join the Somali Republic. The referendum turned out in favour of a continued association with France
1977 - A landslide 98.8% of the electorate supported disengagement from France, officially marking Djibouti's independence
2000 - Tensions over government representation led to armed conflict between Djibouti's ruling People's Rally for Progress party and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy opposition group. The impasse ended in a power-sharing agreement

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