As civil unrest spreads across Africa, Djibouti citizens have taken to the streets to protest for free and fair elections, calling for President Guelleh to step down.
Protesters were met with strong police suppression, as tear gas was sprayed into the crowds, students were wounded and leading activists were arrested. Jean-Paul Noël-Abdi, President of Djibouti’s leading human rights group, the LDDH, and Farah Abadid Hildid, a member of the opposition party MRD, are among the detainees, while rumours are rife that many more political activists have been imprisoned. Students have also gone on strike.
With further mass demonstrations planned for 18 and 25 February, many in Djibouti and the international community have raised concerns over the safety of protesters.