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Happy Independence Day Djibouti!

The Republic of Djibouti is a successor of French Somaliland. It was later referred to as the French territory of the Afars and Issas. The country was created in 19th century after French became interested in the Horn of Africa as a reaction growing British interests in Egypt. The first elections were held in the region on 23rd November 1958.

French President Charles de Gaulle visited Djibouti in August 1966 – it was met with 2 days of public demonstrations by Somalis who demanded independence. Louis Saget was appointed governor general of the region on 21st September 1966. He announced that the French government had decided to stage a referendum to see if the local people still wanted to be a part of the French Republic.

In the referendum held in March 1967 60 percent of the people decided to remain with France. In July 1967, as per an order from France, the name of the region was changed to French Territory of Afars and Issas. The administrative structure of the territory was changed as well by the directive.

In 1975 French government started to face growing and persistent demands for independence from Djibouti. In June 1976 the citizenship law of the region was modified to reflect the importance of Issa Somali. In a referendum in May 1977 the electorate voted in favor of independence. The Republic of Djibouti became a reality on 27th June 1977.

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