Sites & cities that bear the name of Djibouti


Today in : Djibouti
First trace of activity : 1888 C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : ras Djiboutil, مدينة جيبوتي‎, Magaalada Jabuuti, Magaala Gabuuti

Description : Djibouti (also called Djibouti City; Arabic: مدينة جيبوتي‎, French: Ville de Djibouti, Somali: Magaalada Jabuuti, Afar: Magaala Gabuuti) is the eponymous capital and largest city of Djibouti. It is located in the coastal Djibouti Region on the Gulf of Tadjoura. Djibouti has a population of around 600,000 inhabitants, which counts for 54 % of the country's population. The settlement was founded in 1888 by the French, on land leased from the ruling Somali and Afar Sultans. During the ensuing period, it served as the capital of French Somaliland and its successor the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. From 1862 until 1894, the land to the north of the Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock and was ruled by Somali and Afar Sultans, local authorities with whom France signed various treaties between 1883 and 1887 to first gain a foothold in the region. The exchange of Franco-British notes of February 2 and 9, 1888 fixes the territorial limit between the colonies of the two countries. It leaves explicitly under French authority the southern coasts of the Gulf of Tadjoura, including a peninsula composed of insubmersible plateaux, Ras Djiboutil as a highly strategic location, a future bridgehead for their African and Asian interests. It is then that this point begins to be used as departure for caravans towards Harar. The French subsequently founded Djibouti in 1888, in a previously uninhabited stretch of coast. Ambouli was a small village before the French arrived it was about 3 km south of Ras Djiboutil, Ambouli is identifies the city with Canbala by O.G.S. Crawford. Canbala appears in Muhammad al-Idrisi's map of 1192 on the coast of the Horn of Africa, southeast of the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, and with Cambaleh, a town where the Venetian traveler Bragadino, a thirteenth-century European visitor to Ethiopia, resided for eight years. In 1896, the settlement was made the capital of French Somaliland. The main purpose of French interest was to protect the trade route to Madagascar and Indochina from the British and Italian. The town later grew considerably in size following the construction of the Imperial Ethiopian Railway. In 1895, Djibouti, which, not so long ago, was just a peninsula, already had 5,000 inhabitants. Many Issa and Afar nomads leave their herds to settle here, build houses on what is now the downtown plateau. They become dockers and constitute the first local proletariat. French and natives built hotels, houses, mosques and churches. The Yemeni, Egyptian, Greek, Armenian and Italian merchants and traders flock to this promise that Djibouti represents. Additionally, the rich agricultural southern area of Ambouli continued to flourish due to an abundance of date palm farms and orchards. Djibouti certainly does not attract as many boats as Aden, far from it. In 1896, Léonce Lagarde became the first governor of the French Somali Coast, a new name for the French dependencies in the region. At the start of the 20th century, Djibouti had 10,000 inhabitants and was considered a major regional port. Its main activity remains the supply of French ships en route to Indochina or Madagascar. Only 150,000 tonnes of freight per year are handled there. In addition, the railway line is not yet fully exploited.

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