The Republic of
Djibouti gained its independence from France
on June 27, 1977. Djibouti is a Somali, Afar and Muslim country, which
regularly takes part in Islamic affairs as well as Arab meetings.
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.
The history of Djibouti is recorded in poetry and songs of its nomadic peoples, goes back thousands of years to a time when Djiboutians traded hides and skins for the perfumes and spices of ancient Egypt, India, and China.
Peacekeeper training and military capacity building are two of the key US objectives with the establishment of AFRICOM. However, how these programmes align with the African Union's (AU's) own peacekeeping agenda and the establishment of an African Standby Force (ASF) for peacekeeping and emergency operations remains to be seen.