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President Guelleh must accept the reality in Djibouti and step down before the Presidential elections on April 8

Thursday 3 March 2011 | News | Comments: 0

In a public statement this week President Guelleh condemned protesters for allegedly inciting violence during a series of demonstrations in Djibouti last month. He also criticised opposition forces for having ‘no vision for the country’.

Presidential candidate Abdourahman Boreh has issued the following statement in response to the President’s claims:

There are echoes of Colonel Ghaddafi of Libya in President Guelleh’s refusal to acknowledge the reality in Djibouti.

He claims it is the protesters who have brought violence to the country, yet in reality it is his police who reacted brutally to peaceful demonstrations, arrested opposition members and fired tear gas and gunshots into the crowds.

He claims to have improved the development of Djibouti, yet he and his family, who have been in control since independence, have left the country with some of the world’s worst social welfare, education and health indicators. Despite regular income from port revenues and foreign bases giving Djibouti a stronger GDP than many of its African neighbours, Djibouti is still ranked 147th out of 169 in the 2010 UN Human Development Index.

He claims the opposition has no vision for our country, yet I have published a detailed and practical manifesto to address the political, economic, social and foreign policy challenges now faced by the country and its people. This manifesto has already been read online by thousands of Djiboutians – including members of President Guelleh’s own government.

President Guelleh is twisting reality to suit his view of Djibouti, just as he twisted our constitution to allow him to stand for a third term.  The President must stop pretending there is no alternative to his rule; he must listen to the will of the Djibouti people and step down before the Presidential elections on April 8 to allow a free and fair election to take place.

After more than 30 years living under one-party rule, it’s time for the Djibouti people to decide who they want to lead their country.

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