The Financial Times reports:
At least one person has been killed as pro-democracy demonstrations have taken hold throughout the strategic, small north-east African coastal state of Djibouti, echoing waves of protest seen throughout the Middle East.
Opposition parties said more than 30,000 people protested on Friday against the dynastic rule of President Ismail Guelleh, who last year scrapped a two-term constitutional limit to allow him to stand for re-election at polls due in April. Government officials say less than a thousand people took part.
Meanwhile, Reuters adds:
Guelleh, an ally of the United States which has established its only military base in Africa in Djibouti, oversaw a change to the constitution last year that allows him to seek a third term in elections this April…
One self-exiled presidential challenger, Abdourahman Boreh, who plans to boycott April’s election if Guelleh stands, said the United States was backing Djibouti’s leader for strategic reasons. But that strategy had backfired, he said.
“He (Guelleh) is ruling by the barrel of the gun. A third term would not be legitimate and the population does not want him,” he told Reuters by telephone from London.
“The United States must listen to the people.”