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Djibouti: Mixed marriages between an Issa man and a Midgan woman, including the clan and custody of the children when their father dies; through which system the custody decision is determined; and the penalties for a mother who took a child without having the formal authority over him

Publisher Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 April 1999
Citation / Document Symbol DJI31462.E
Cite as Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Djibouti: Mixed marriages between an Issa man and a Midgan woman, including the clan and custody of the children when their father dies; through which system the custody decision is determined; and the penalties for a mother who took a child without having the formal authority over him, 1 April 1999, DJI31462.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac7524.html [accessed 24 April 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Specific information on mixed marriages between an Issa man and a Midgan women could not be found among published sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However the following from telephone interviews with the author of Djibouti : une nation en otage and Le Mal Djiboutien : rivalités ethniques et enjeux politiques, Ali Coubba, and with a lawyer and member of Djibouti Bar Association respectively on 16 March and 6 April 1999 may be of interest.

The Djibouti legal system is based upon French law and Islamic law. However for the family matters such as marriages, divorces, inheritance, formal custody of the children, etc., only Islamic law [Sharia] is competent [has precedence] (both sources). While mixed marriages are frequent in Djibouti society, those between members of the Midgan and members of other clans, including Issa, are rare among Djibouti people (Djibouti lawyer). However marriages between members of the Midgan clan and members of others clans is not prohibited by the law (ibid.). The few cases of those marriages are registered in Djibouti town, where traditions are less strong than in the countryside (Djibouti lawyer). As Djibouti society is patrilineal, children from all mixed marriages always belong to their father's clan (both sources). The two sources indicated that, in case of the death of the father, the formal authority over children including those from mixed marriage is generally assumed by the mother. However custody can be allowed to one of the close members of the father's family (generally to one of the father' brothers) if the children's mother is incapable (ibid.). The sources added that the incapacity of the mother is established by the Cadi [Judge].

The two oral sources could not provide any more information on other aspects of mixed marriages.

 This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Ali Coubba. Djibouti : une nation en otage and Le Mal Djiboutien : rivalités ethniques et enjeux politiques. 16 March 1999. Telephone interview.

     Djibouti lawyer and human rights defender. 6 April 1999. Telephone interview.

Additional Sources Consulted

Resources Centre country file. Djibouti. 1991-1998.

Electronic Sources: Internet, LEXIS/NEXIS, Research Directorate Databases.

Three oral sources, including the Embassy of Djibouti in Washington DC.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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