The Horn of Africa has always been a cultural and commercial crossroads between Africa, Asia and Arabia in particular. Contacts with Arab countries intensified in the 7th century with the propagation of Islam in this region and the creation of Muslim kingdoms.
The first strong relations with Europe date back to 1839. In 1862 the local chiefs signed treaties with the French who founded Djibouti in 1888, the capital city of the Republic of Djibouti.
The territory became a colony under the name of Côte Française des Somalis (The Somalis’ French Coast) then “Territoire des Afars et des Issas” (the Afar and Issa Territory) in 1967.
After three decades of protests and contesting spurred by LPAI (Ligue Populaire pour l’Independence: Popular Party for independence) the colonial power organized a referendum on May 8 1977, then the majority of the population voted for independence.
The country acceded to independence on 27 June 1977 under the name, Republic of Djibouti and Hassan Gouled Aptidon was designated first President of the country. A one party-regime RPP (Rassemblement Populaire Pour le Progres: People’s Progress Rally) presided over the country’s affairs, until 1992 when a new constitution introduced multiparty politics in the Republic of Djibouti.
The current President of the republic of Djibouti, Mr. Ismael Omar Guelleh has been re-elected in April 2016.