Djibouti

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of Djibouti.

Djibouti became independent from France on 27 June 1977, being formed out of the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (formerly known as French Somaliland). Hassan Gouled Aptidon, the country's first President, installed an authoritarian one-party state and served as president until 1999.

Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government.

In 1999, Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections resulted in the election of Ismail Omar Guelleh, the nephew of former President Aptidon.

Guelleh was re-elected to a second six year term in 2005 and for a third term in 2011 after persauding the National Assembley to amend the constitutional provision permitting only two terms. In April 2016 he was elected for a fourth term.

Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa.

Djibouti has a mixed legal system based primarily on the French civil code (as it existed in 1997), Islamic religious law (family law and successions), and customary law.

Djibouti has a constitution dating from 1992.

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