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Territoire français des Afars et des Issas
French Territory of the Afars and the Issas
Overseas territory



Capital Djibouti
Language(s) French, Arabic
Religion Islam, Christianity
Government Overseas territory of France
High Commissioner
 - 1967-1969 Louis Saget
 - 1969-1971 Dominique Ponchardier
 - 1971-1974 Georges Thiercy
 - 1974-1976 Christian Dablanc
 - 1976-1977 Camille d’Ornano
Historical era Cold War
 - Established July 5, 1967
 - Independence June 27, 1977
 - 1974 23,200 km2 (8,958 sq mi)
 - 1974 est. 200,000 
     Density 8.6 /km2  (22.3 /sq mi)
Currency Djiboutian franc

The French Territory of Afars and Issas (Territoire français des Afars et des Issas) was, between 1967 and 1977, the name given to the former French Somaliland French colony in the territory of the present-day Republic of Djibouti. The territory was named after the two predominant populations in the region: the Afars and the Issas. This was considered by many a friendly political stance towards the Issas whom historically France, the colonial power, has empowered at the expense of the Gadabuursi, another Somali clan.[1]



The original territorial land on the north side of Gulf of Tadjoura was called Obock Territory (Territoire d'Obock) from 1862 to 1894. France first gained a foothold in the region through various treaties between 1883 and 1887 with the then ruling Somali Sultans.[2] When permanent colonial administration was established in the city of Djibouti by Léonce Lagarde in 1894, it was officially named "French Somaliland" (Côte française des Somalis). The official name continued until 1967.

A vote for independence was held on June 27, 1977, in which the majority of the population supported independence. The French Territory of Afars and Issas differed from French Somaliland in terms of government, changing the position of governor general to that of high commissioner and creating a nine member council of government.


The economy of the French Territory of Afars and Issas, did not differ much from Djibouti's present economy. Major products included salt, animal hides and coffee.

See also


  1. ^,463af2212,469f2d5a2,3ae6ad1a18,0.html
  2. ^ Hugh Chisholm (ed.), The encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information, Volume 25, (At the University press: 1911), p.383.


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