DJIBOUTI THE COLONY

In 1915 and because of the world war, an international organization of civilized countries is founded and is called the Nations Society. It was responsable for many events in Africa, statuted that "some countries are not civilized enough to govern themselves, and should be governed by other, more civilized nations."
More than 300 fishermen families had moved into Djibouti, the commerce of pearls and nacreous shells was florishing, they were exported to France and became buttons or expensive necklaces.



1916

Prince Tafari who was Menelik´s nefew acceeded to the imperial power after having his cousin, who was supposed to be the legal successor, killed. Tafari took the name of Haile Selassie but will wait until 1928 to get the imperial titel of Negus.

1917

The country that was called Protected Territory of OBOCK gets official status as a French colony and get the new name Côte Française Des Somalis.

1920

Death of Mohamad Abdile Hasan under a massive British air raid on Taleek, Northern Somalia. He was a poet, an orator and as the leader of the Somali dervish resistance movement he was called The Mad Mullah by the British. Its death ended a 20 years long fight against colonial nations expanding in Somalia, as Britain or Italy.
Very few of the men that left Djibouti to fight the war in Europe ever came back. Governor Lauret reacted that there was only one teacher left in the city school.

1922

Public school is created, first with one couple of teachers, then with two couples.

1923

Ethiopia enters the Nations Society.

1924

Tafari made a european tour where he presented himself as the descendant of Menluk, son of King Solomon and Queen of Shaba.
Arrival of governor Chapon-Baissac who in the following decade ordered the building of forts around the countryside.

1926

The Nations Society reconduct a previous banning of slavery and human trafficking.
July 12th. Fire omboard the cargo Le Fontainebleau, homecoming from China with a last of cotton. As the wind Khamsin blew in the bay, the boat sunk and made the all harbour area hazardeous for incoming ships. The harbour was a simple 800 meter dike of corall stones, a new harbour was planned that used this wreck as a foundament.

Côte Française Des Somalis counts 70,000 habitants in 1927

1930

Famous reporters are sent by Paris newspapers to document the continuing human trade in Ethiopia. One of them, Albert Londres, had such an impact on the public that he was able to denonce the lack of humanity in French penitentiaries and get them to close. He wrote a book about this journey, as well as his well known collegue Joseph Kessel, after they had followed the steps of slaves across the Red Sea via Tadjoura. Those books are precious litterature about the aspects of these regions, and they will reveal a certain interest for "the Orient" among French public.

1931

Colonial exhibition in Paris.
Work began with the first extension of the harbour.
One of the public school teachers, Edouard Duchenet had in the passed two years learned the somali language. He published a reading method for young Djiboutians that was re-edited in 1949 and that helped several generations to learn simple french.

1935

Morato Events. Approximatly 3,000 Ethiopian cavaliers launched an attack on Dikhil. The town was defended by civilian administrator Bernard who had 17 Somali guards and a machine-gun. They were killed to the last and their bodies were found mutilated by Ethiopian horses.
The recently unified Italy seeks for territorial extenssion in a way that would not interfeer with other strong colonial powers. Ethiopia was attacked with a superior aviation and as Haile Selassie flew to England with its country´s savings, it would only take the Italian forces a year to overtake the country.

1936

Italian forces entered Harrar.
Edouard Duchenet, back in France, published a collection of tales and songs of Somalia called Histoires Somalies, the most informative of its time.