London, 6 February 2013
A concerted campaign to raise awareness of the issues in Djibouti has been launched in Europe by Friends of Djibouti Association, a non-profit organisation, founded at the end of 2012 to encourage a peaceful change of the current political course in Djibouti.
The first campaign is focussing on the parliamentary elections that are taking place on 22 February 2013. This is a critical time for Djibouti and its people who want to have a real democratic and transparent electoral process for the first time in many decades.
Djibouti, a small but strategically important country in the Horn of Africa, achieved good progress and economic growth during the past decade. But in the recent years there have been growing signs of frustration and protest among Djibouti people as they face worsening living conditions, human rights abuses and, after 30 years of one-party rule, little hope of democratic change. Recent arrest of the leader of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (MRD), Daher Ahmed Farah (DAF) is an example of repressions the political opposition suffers in Djibouti.
In the past months, Friends of Djibouti have been active approaching US and EU officials, international NGOs and the international media, drawing their attention to the human right abuses and corruption in Djibouti. Letters outlining the current issues facing the country have been sent to the US Secretary of State, the US Ambassador to Djibouti, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and EU Commissioner for Development.
Friends of Djibouti have had an encouraging response from the office of Baroness Ashton, who during her recent meeting with the Djibouti Prime Minister expressed intention to send an EU Electoral Expert Mission to Djibouti for the elections in February 2013.
Letters encouraging international election observers to monitor the Djibouti parliamentary election have been sent to the Carter Foundation and the African Union.
Over the coming weeks, Friends of Djibouti will be approaching UK MPs, MEPs and other European politicians.
Aicha Dubae, spokesperson for Friends of Djibouti Association, said: “The West recognises how important Djibouti is to maintaining stability and security in the Horn of Africa and in helping to combat piracy. We hope that the Western leaders will put pressure on the Djibouti Government encouraging democratic process, the rule of law and the respect for human rights, and, in doing so, help Djibouti fulfil its real potential”.

Friends of Djibouti


  1. Gelle,

    There is a dictum that says "give the devil his due." Arbitrary arrest and things of that sore wer what caused the downfall of all Dictators and thei stooges. A leader who cannot lead himself aright, cannot lead a nation aright. The wonderment is that there are dictators who know exactly what is good for his country when the grassroots are lost. Fact is that not any leader is a leader, like you, Mr Gelle and Siilaanyo

  2. Djibouti's location in a neighborhood with Yemen, Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia at its borders, combined with its commitment to peaceful, pro-west, tolerant Muslim views makes it a unique and strategic partner. Although a small country, Djibouti is striving to achieve ambitious social and economic achievements. The government has made great advances in the last five years, including the development of the only deep-sea port in the region, increasing private sector investment, and gains in health and education. But despite these advances, Djibouti's future is threatened by a lack of arable land, chronic food insecurity, a severe lack of a skilled workforce, high unemployment, disease, illiteracy, dangerous and porous borders,
    Djibouti its not first time people are Elected what they want so i hope this election will be successful

  3. Why does Djibouti's president always look sad, like some killed his cat. lol

    Djibouti is a great little nation, the only thing that would make it better is free and fair democratic elections, unlike pretend Somaliland.

    As for their food insecurity and unemployment, that will change in the near future. If the current or future Government focus on it. With hard work comes hard gains.

    I wish and pray, that the Somali people in Djibouti,Somalia, and all other Somali regions, see the truth and one day have a true fair and just union. Hopefully in a Federal system, where each has their say in their own respective regions but stand together as a collective, who speak with one voice in the IC.

    People I would like to ask you is it really that hard for this dream to come true ?

    Why is so hard to stand shoulder to shoulder with your fellow Somali ?

    For gods sake look at the EU, 27 nations and growing, working hard to the same goal to end European wars, bring about peace and prosperity. They also have the foresight to see the benefits of being one voice in the IC, Which is why they have chosen to become more integrated. Yet you who is one nation can not do this. What a shame.