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first issues > countries > french somali coast, Obock, Djibouti, Afars & Issas

French Somali Coast

August 1902

Obock, Djibouti,

and Afars & Issas

- Changes of Administration

French Colonies 23, a-c

  1892 Sc1 SG1 FICC#275 1893 Somali Coast Sc1
Obock SG81

both perf 14x13½, no wmk

Description   Scott SG Mi Y&T  
Stamps of French Colonies General Issue handstamped at Obock
1 centime black / azure   1 1      
other values 2c to 1 franc   2-11 2-11      
Stamps of Obock handstamped at Djibouti
5c green / pale green, overprint with bar   1 83      
5c green / pale green, without bar   1a 84      
25c on 2c brown / buff   2 85      

Scott [1] lists Djibouti (Sc1, 1a, 2) under Somali Coast. Gibbons lists [2] both Obock (SG1-11) and Djibouti (SG83-85) under French Territory of the Afars and the Issas.

Somali Coast
Afars and Issas
1902 Sc34 SG121 FICC#299 1967 Sc310 SG504 FICC#692

There is a detailed article on the geopolitical and philatelic development of this area in the Journal v10n3p1-3. In summary, France bought the town of Obock and the surrounding area in 1857. France established the French Somali Coast Protectorate (including Obock) in 1888 and also set up the town of Djibouti as its capital. In 1902, stamps of Djibouti were replaced by those of the French Somali Coast.

In a 1967 referendum, 60% of the population voted to retain an association with France, rather than independence, though the name was changed to Afars and Issas, the major tribes.


27th June 1977

Africa 45

Republic of Djibouti FICC#718
1977 Sc439 SG685 1977 Sc457 SG687

The Territory gained independence as the Republic of Djibouti in June 1977. Scott lists the overprints before the dedicated Independence issue, Gibbons the reverse.