The state maintains a tight control on the media in Djibouti. Apart from official censorship, the long-lasting one-party system has also promoted a culture of self-censorship among Djiboutian journalists. State control and censorship of the media hit a new low on 27 June 2007, the eve of the 30th anniversary of Djibouti’s independence, when Le Renouveau Djiboutien, the country’s sole opposition newspaper was forced to shut down. The closing of this weekly was the culmination of a harassment campaign conducted by President Ismael Omar Guelleh’s government against the paper.
As a result, Djibouti is now – together with Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe – one of the few African countries where no private newspapers are published. The single party state also maintains a tight control on all audiovisual media outlets.
The opposition National Democratic Party used to publish a periodical called La Republique until it was suspended in 1999. Since then it has continued to appear on an irregular basis in the form of a tract.
Language: Arabic Established: 1997 Published twice a week
Published by the Djiboutian Ministry of Information, Al Qurn provides the same uncritical coverage of President Guelleh, as La Nation does in French. In difference to La Nation, Al Qurn features articles on Islamic topics, such as seminars on the Koran.
Language: French Established: N/A Published three times a week
The official daily, La Nation delivers exclusively positive coverage of President Ismael Omar Guelleh and his ruling party, the People's Progress Assembly. Together with the other official newspaper, Al Qurn (in Arabic), La Nation operates the only news website in Djibouti with all articles being subject to verification by government officials before being posted.