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The Republic of Djibouti is a small desert country located at the south entrance of the Red Sea on the Horn of Africa. Deployments to Djibouti by the Marine Corps began as early 2002 and continue today as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Operations are conducted by United States Africa Command, a/k/a AFRICOM.
The AFRICOM mission statement, as approved by the Secretary of Defense in May, 2008: United States Africa Command in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.
Through the years, the amenities and services available to our Marines have changed and improved. The living conditions vary widely from location to location and improvements are being made all the time, including morale tents and fairly crude recreational facilities.
To assure operations security (OpSEC), your Marine should not share his/her exact location with you and you should not ask. If you know his/her camp name, you should not share it with others in written, verbal, or online communication.
Instead of asking the name of the camp or location, ask your Marine what amenties s/he has available. This will help you determine what types of items to send in care packages and what type of calling cards can be used. Some basic information about the country follows:
Republic of Djibouti Africa
Capital - Djibouti
Bordered by - Dikhil, Arta, Ali-Sabieh, Obock, Tadjoura
Language - French, Arabic, Somali, Afar
Climate - Torrid and dry
Population - between 466,900 and 650,000
Religion - 94% Muslim and 6% Christian
Constitution - Ratified September 1992 by referendum
Independence - June 27, 1977
Branches - Executive--President Legislative--65-member Parliament, Cabinet, Prime Minister Judicial--based on French Civil Law system, traditional practices, and Islamic law
Natural resources - Minerals (salt, perlite, gypsum, limestone) and energy resources (geothermal and solar)
Agriculture - (less than 3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)) - Products--livestock, fishing, and limited commercial crops, including fruits and vegetables
Currency - Djiboutian Franc - was linked to the dollar (and to gold) in 1949 and appreciated twice over the interim when the dollar was devalued and then freed to float. In 2006 it generated a growth of approximately 4.5%. Djibouti has become a significant regional banking hub, with approximately $600 million in dollar deposits.