15 February 2013
With one week to go until Djibouti’s parliamentary elections, Djibouti’s government is under intense pressure from political opposition and its own people after 37 years of one party rule.
Ahead of the elections on 22 February, the Mayor of Djibouti has publicly denounced the Government. Djibouti’s Energy Minister and Minister of Islamic Affairs have both resigned. Opposition rallies are attracting up to 150,000 people.
In a sign of increasing panic, the Government has released opposition leader Daher Ahmed Farah, (arrested earlier this month) following an upsurge of popular protest, resulting in the destruction of a warehouse in Djibouti city.
Leading figures in the opposition movement have expressed their desire for democratic elections to proceed and reflect the will of the people. They are adamant that the country needs a smooth and peaceful transition of power without external intervention, but urge international organisations to continue their pressure on the current government for democratic elections. Forty election observers from the African Union arrived in Djibouti today (15th) to monitor the electoral process. Election observers from the EU have also confirmed their intention to visit Djibouti to oversee the elections.
Aicha Dabale, spokesperson on behalf of the Friends of Djibouti, said
“We are witnessing a growing sense of frustration in Djibouti and its political system. We call on governments and NGOs to ensure that free and fair elections take place in Djibouti next week to ensure that the voice of the people of Djibouti is heard and reflected in electoral results.”
Abdourahman Boreh, an international businessman from Djibouti, said:
“Djibouti has many friends in the West and around the world. We appreciate their continued support in our struggle against an oppressive and undemocratic ruling elite. I fully support the efforts of the opposition who have united under the USN to call for peaceful change. Pressure must continue, but we are determined that the changes required in Djiboutian society are achieved from within the country. We want a peaceful and stable transition of power and a better future for Djibouti.”
By Friends of Djibouti
Our good neighbor Jibouti is hungary for democracy. Mudane Geele, you have done good, while u were in power in transforming ur nation's economy and somewhat its political instititions from one of dictatorship to a more open and transparent institutions, but to be more successful you ought to emulate and adapt the democratic achievement and approach similar to that of our good neighbor Somaliland in order to improve ur society justice system and ur people's inallienable rights.
They say every dictator has his day of being booted out by the people whether forcefully or not well this seems to indicate its Guelleh's time.
It's about that Mr. President to let it go! What exactly you will take from this world? A white sheet, and nothing else, but if you allow the change, the people will always remember you, and you have enough to live for the rest of your life. A good statesman is the one who considers what exactly the majority of the people want. If they want you to go, don't stay another day, and let them see who will be better than you, if there is anyone.
I personally see that you have done a lot for Djibouti. You have raised that country to prosperity and dignity among the world, but those who believe there are others who will be better than you, let them see it if that is there, and watch from distance, until they say – we need you to come back. It's only 5 years time or may be before that. Give a chance to the power-hungry men of your country, and let the people try them.