A Brief History of Djibouti - Part 1

Where in Africa is Djibouti?
Where in Africa is Djibouti?. Image: © Alistair Boddy-Evans. Used with Permission

Beginnings of the Path to Independence:


The first elections to the territorial assembly were held on November 23, 1958, under a system of proportional representation. In the next assembly elections (1963), a new electoral law was enacted. Representation was abolished in exchange for a system of straight plurality vote based on lists submitted by political parties in seven designated districts. Ali Aref Bourhan, allegedly of Turkish origin, was selected to be the president of the executive council.

French President Charles de Gaulle's August 1966 visit to Djibouti was marked by 2 days of public demonstrations by Somalis demanding independence. On September 21, 1966, Louis Saget, appointed governor general of the territory after the demonstrations, announced the French Government's decision to hold a referendum to determine whether the people would remain within the French Republic or become independent. In March 1967, 60% chose to continue the territory's association with France.

Next: A Brief History of Djibouti - Part 2


(Text from Public Domain material, US Department of State Background Notes.)