President Guelleh of Djibouti calls for release of prisoners held by Eritrea. The President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, in his New Year address to the Nation has called once again for the release of the prisoners of war seized by Eritrea during Eritrea incursions into Djibouti when Eritrea attacked Djibouti in June 2008.
In his message, the President said it was fitting that Djiboutians should remember and honour those martyrs who had died in the service of their country. He said that especially the country should remember those still detained in Eritrean prisons. “We pray that they will be returned to us in 2013”, he said, and added that “we will spare no effort to see this come true, and that we will be able to reach a speedy and favourable end” to the conflict over Ras Dumera.” Djibouti has repeatedly called for the release of the prisoners of war still suffering in the prisons of Eritrea, a call ignored by the Government of Eritrea. Nor has there been any progress in resolving this since the end of the fighting, despite the efforts of the Emir of Qatar to mediate between the two countries.
The President mentioned that 2012 had seen the completion of a number of projects, including the port of Doraleh, and of others now in process among them the new port of Tadjoura, a memorandum of understanding with Ethiopia for a cross-border supply of drinking water and seawater desalination plant agreed with the European Union. He also reminded his listeners that 2013 was an election year for the House of People’s Representatives, and for the first time this will involve proportional representation. He called upon his listeners to be responsible, sincere and increase their participation in publicaffairs. –MFA