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The Republic of Djibouti, formerly French Somaliland, was known until June 1977 as the French Territory of Afars and Issas. It is bordered to the north and east by the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, to the southeast by Somalia, to the south and west by Ethiopia and to the northwest by Eritrea.

After gaining independence from France in 1977, Djibouti was dominated by two major ethnic groups -- the Somali Issa tribe and the Ethiopian Afars.

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