The digging of the Suez Canal gave the Gulf of Aden unmatched strategic importance at the end of the Red Sea. The British controlled Aden, the French bought Obock in 1862 while Marseille owners settled in Tadjoura. In 1884, a French protectorate was spent with local potentates. It was the same with the Somali leaders. Colonel Lagarde Djibouti founded in 1888. The transfer of capital became in 1891 Obock in Djibouti. With colonial status in 1894, the area became known as French Somaliland in 1896.