Jolpress 7 September 2015
Ismaël Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti since 1999, promised: in 2016, he will step down. Head of the hegemonic state, he drove a constitutional amendment in 2010 to abolish the limit of two consecutive presidential terms. While the opposition parties accused him of rigging the last parliamentary elections, the outgoing president could eventually run for another five years in power, even provoke the revolt of a people whose poverty level is not reduced despite promises and geopolitical advantages of the country.
President Almighty for 16 years
The rumbles within the Djiboutian population is growing. The poverty and unemployment rates are very high and the current President is unable to limit them. Difficult to explain failure when the country has a rare stability in the region and significant assets. Recall that 70% of the population is under 30 years.
Ismaël Omar Guelleh (IOG) is a head of state increasingly challenged. President since 1999, he has continued to consolidate its power, reducing the political opposition and the media to silence and orchestrating a constitutional change in order to keep his job unlimitedly. And while it plans to resubmit to the presidency next year, not much seems able to stop it.
The official results of the 2013 parliamentary elections are indeed at least doubtful. According to opposition parties, now all under one banner: the Union for national salvation (USN), the ruling party would have received only 20% of the vote while nearly all seats was granted. It took several months of negotiations for the USN finally agrees to get only 10 seats – instead of the 52 originally claimed – in exchange for concessions from IOG and in order to prevent a popular insurrection consequences unpredictable.
The coalition of patience end to opposition parties
Among those promises still unfulfilled to date, include that the establishment of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the manner of what was decided in Burundi and Burkina Faso. Ready to “congratulate” Guelleh if re-elected through a fair poll, Abdurahman Mohamed Guelleh, general secretary of the USN, was repeated again for micro RFI in April: “must elections are conducted in a transparent, honest and free “.
In August, again for Radio France International, Yusuf Ahmed, president of the opposition coalition IOG, already was less conciliatory. “The key points are widely listed,” he recalled, disillusioned. “The change of institutions, decentralization, the statutes of political parties, guaranteeing round-goings and freedom of expression in national media […], something which we are all private. We must revive confidence among we and the authorities […], leading to democratic elections, transparent and free “.
Economic potential sold to China?
If that was not to be the case, the opposition says unable to ensure the stability of the country. Djiboutian being all the more out of patience, as the USN, they see a succession of economic and military agreements with new foreign powers, first and foremost China, and they do not perceive the advantages.
Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, to the door of the Gulf of Aden and a few kilometers of Yemen, the country is an ideal base for anti-terrorist actions and anti-piracy. In economic and industrial terms, the country has significant resources, including renewables, and has signed important agreements with Beijing, especially for the construction of air and rail transport infrastructure.
The will of Ismaël Omar Guelleh is clear: to make Djibouti a commercial hub of East Africa. Even ally with a country known for applying a policy of economic imperialism on the African continent. A prospect that worries the population, anxious not to be kept out of development opportunities.