Obock

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Coordinates: 11°58′N 43°17′E / 11.967°N 43.283°E / 11.967; 43.283

Obock
Town
Obock, Djibouti.jpg
Obock is located in Djibouti
Obock
Obock
Location in Djibouti
Coordinates: 11°58′N 43°17′E / 11.967°N 43.283°E / 11.967; 43.283
Country Flag of Djibouti.svg Djibouti
Region Obock Region
Elevation 13 m (43 ft)
Population (2015)
 • Total 21,000
 • Density 1/km2 (3/sq mi)

Obock (also Obok, Ubuk) is a small port town in Djibouti. It is located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Tadjoura, where it opens out into the Gulf of Aden. The town is home to an airstrip and has ferries to Djibouti City, while mangroves lie nearby. The French form Obock derives from Arabic "Oboh", deformation of Oboki, a name given to the Wadi Dar'i in its middle part, upstream of its coastal delta.

Overview[edit]

Obock is located in east of the northern coast of the Gulf of Tadjoura, the door of the Bab el Mandeb Strait and in the north-east of the Republic of Djibouti, 235 km (by road) of Djibouti City.

History[edit]

During the Middle Ages, Obock was ruled by the Ifat Sultanate and the Adal Sultanate. The Ottoman Empire had control over the area from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. It later was part of the French Somaliland protectorate in the first half of the 20th century. Obock was originally significant as the site of the first French colony in the region, established by treaty with the local Afar rulers on March 11, 1862.[1] The French were interested in having a coaling station for steamships, which would become especially important upon the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. (Up to that time French ships had to buy coal at the British port of Aden across the gulf, an unwise dependency in case of war.)

The French traders settlement and the coal depot in the mid 1880s

The site was not the subject of any occupation, just visited by the ships of the naval divisions assigned to the Indian Ocean, until the installation of trader Pierre Arnoux in 1881, followed by Paul Soleillet. Obock became a true colony in 1884 with the arrival in August of Léonce Lagarde, who established an administration and extended French possession in the Gulf of Tadjoura, forming the Territory of Obock and outbuildings, with Obock as its capital. By 1885, Obock had 800 inhabitants and a school. However, the anchorage was more exposed than the site of Djibouti on the south side of the Gulf of Tadjoura, and the colonial administration moved there in 1894. The population of Obock subsequently declined.[2]

Panorama of Obock in 1920

However, until the occupation of Tadjoura in 1927, Obock remained the only place on the northern coast of the Gulf of Tadjoura with a colonial administration. It became the capital of the "District Dankali" in 1914, then an administrative position from 1927 which was subsumed into the "Circle of Adaels" in 1929. In 1931 Obock became the capital of a circle responsible for resupplying the colony during the Allied blockade from 1941 to 1943, then again a simple administrative position, and then became a capital of the circle from 1963 to Djiboutian independence in 1977.

Postage stamps[edit]

During its time as a French colony, Obock issued its own postage stamps; for more detail see Postage stamps and postal history of Obock.

Climate and geography[edit]

Obock has a dry climate. It is classified as hot and semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSh). Obock is 13 m above sea level on the plateau of Gazelles ("Dala-h Húgub in Afar") in desert terrain. The sky is always clear and bright throughout the year.[3]

Climate data for Obock
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.9
(84)
29.0
(84.2)
30.8
(87.4)
32.8
(91)
35.4
(95.7)
38.6
(101.5)
41.0
(105.8)
39.9
(103.8)
37.0
(98.6)
33.8
(92.8)
31.0
(87.8)
29.5
(85.1)
33.98
(93.14)
Average low °C (°F) 22.3
(72.1)
23.3
(73.9)
24.6
(76.3)
26.0
(78.8)
28.2
(82.8)
30.7
(87.3)
30.8
(87.4)
30.1
(86.2)
30.0
(86)
26.4
(79.5)
24.2
(75.6)
22.7
(72.9)
26.61
(79.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6
(0.24)
6
(0.24)
14
(0.55)
5
(0.2)
6
(0.24)
0
(0)
5
(0.2)
6
(0.24)
4
(0.16)
7
(0.28)
14
(0.55)
10
(0.39)
83
(3.29)
Source: Climate-Data.org, altitude: 13m[3]

Sister towns[edit]

Country Town
Somalia Somalia Coat of arms of Somalia.svg Zeila
Yemen Republic of Yemen Emblem of Yemen.svg Hadibu

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scott's monthly stamp journal. 1 January 1982. p. 5. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Obok". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 593. 
  3. ^ a b "Climate: Dikhil - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 30 September 2013.