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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Djibouti: Between War and Peace
Author:Kadamy, Mohamed
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Djibouti
civil wars
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056249608704219
Abstract:This paper examines the civil war which started in Djibouti in October 1991. The country is inhabited by two ethnic groups, the Afars and the Somalis, who are about equal in numbers, and a small Yemenite minority. Colonized by France in 1862, Djibouti became independent in 1977. The choice for leader fell on Hassan Gouled Aptidon, a leading personality of the Issa, the dominant Somali clan in Djibouti. Upon becoming president, his first concern was to clear the political stage of all political organizations and independent political figures that did not fit into the postcolonial scheme of things. People in Djibouti were engaged in political and military resistance from the very beginning of Hassan Gouled's dictatorship. The struggle for democracy in Djibouti was mainly the work of Afars. In August 1991 FRUD (Front pour la restauration de l'unité et de la démocratie) was created. The Gouled regime had earlier rejected a proposal to create a multiparty State. When the opposition offered a dialogue, the regime replied by hardening its position. It declared a general mobilization, called up all the Issa men, sent out a call to Somalis outside Djibouti, and internationalized the conflict. In conclusion, the paper pays attention to the role of France in the conflict, and the involvement of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the civil war in Djibouti. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French.