In the ninth century AD, Islam was introduced in the region. The Afars and Somalis were the first ethnic groups who started practicing Islam following close contact with the Arabian Peninsula. They ruled from 1862 to 1894 till the French established their supremacy in 1896.
French control over the African country increased during the 19th century. The present capital city of Djibouti was established by the French in 1896. The year 1977 was a watershed period in Djibouti history. Djibouti became an independent state in that year and was also designated as a republic by the first president-Hassan Goulded Aptidon. Post the independence, the country was dominated by two dominant tribes- the majority Somali origin Issa tribe and the substantial minority Afar tribe. The first premier of Djibouti- President Hassan Gouled Aptidon was of Issa origin and was opposed politically by the native Afars. This uneven power sharing between the two tribes led to the Civil War of Djibouti that ravaged the country for four long years and destroyed the economy of the African nation.
The politically sidelined Afars formed the Restoration of Unity and Democracy political faction and began to fight the Issa dominated Djibouti government from November 1991. The Restoration of Unity and Democracy is popularly known by its French initials FRUD. The Afars dominated the Djibouti landscape in the western and northern part of the African country while the Issas had total control over the southern part. French Peacekeeping forces were sent to restore peace in the war ravaged east African country in 1992. The fighting subsided to some extent with the formation of multi-party political system in 1994.
Today, this east African country is a semi-presidential republic with Ismail Omar Guelleh as the president. The majority of the population is Muslim with Islam being the dominant religion. Being a member of the Arab League, the country actively participates in Islamic affairs.