Djibouti’s Political System

After the 1992 constitution, Djibouti is a unified state and formally democratic republic. After the constitution of 1981, the country was a one-party state, from 1992 four parties were allowed, and in 2002 this restriction was lifted. Executive is added to a president who is elected in the general election for six years. The president’s position is very strong. The National Assembly has 65 representatives, who are elected in the general election for five years. The whole country constitutes one constituency. The voting age is 18 years. In the February 2008 election, a coalition of four parties supporting the incumbent president won all the seats in the National Assembly.

The judiciary

The judiciary, which is characterized by Islamic traditions, includes a supreme court, a court of appeal and a court of first instance in the capital.

Djibouti’s defense

The total force figures for Djibouti armed forces are about 10,450 active personnel, including about 2,000 personnel in a gendarmerie (2018, IISS). In addition, a semi-military national security force of about 2500 personnel and 150 personnel are on the coast guard.

By agreement, a French force of 1450 personnel is stationed in the country. The US has a base in Djibouti with a strength of 4700 personnel. Japan has had a base in Djibouti since 2010, in 2018 with a strength of 170 personnel. In addition, New Zealand, Germany and Spain contribute maritime patrol aircraft. China has a force of 240 personnel in Djibouti.


The army has a strength of about 8,000 active personnel. Materials include 38 light trucks, 28 storm tanks, 43 armored personnel vehicles, an armored fighter and 15 self-propelled artillery. In addition, the Army has medium-heavy artillery and anti-aircraft artillery.

Djibouti Army

Air Force

The Air Force has a force of 250 active personnel, six light transport aircraft, and eight helicopters.

The Navy

The Navy has a force of about 200 active personnel, 12 patrol vessels and one landing craft.

International operations

Djibouti participated in 2018 in the African Union peacekeeping operation in Somalia (AMISOM) with two infantry battalions (1872 personnel). The country also participated in the UN operation in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with two observers.