Encyclopedia > Geography of Djibouti

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Geography of Djibouti

Djibouti is in Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, between Eritrea and Somalia. Its coordinates are 11 30 N, 43 00 E. The country is slightly smaller than Massachusetts.

Djibouti shares 113 km of border wth Eritrea, 337 with Ethiopia and 58 with Somalia (total 506 km). It also has 314 km of coastline.

Its climate is mostly hot, dry desert. Mountains in the center of the country separate a coastal plain[?] and a plateau. The lowest point is Lac Assal[?] (155 m) and the highest is Moussa Ali[?] (2,028 m). Natural resources include geothermal energy[?]. There is no arable land, [[irrigation[[ or permanent crops, nor any forests. 9% of the country is permanent pasture-land (1993 est).

total: 22,000 km²
land: 21,980 km²
water: 20 km²

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Natural hazards: earthquakes; droughts; occasional cyclonic disturbances from the Indian Ocean bring heavy rains and flash floods

Environment - current issues: inadequate supplies of potable water; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

Geography - note: strategic location near world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia; mostly wasteland

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