This is Africa has been taking a look at the causes of unrest across the continent, and highlights the situation in Djibouti:
The protests in the Middle East and North Africa that became fully-fledged movements for change have inspired copycat protests from Central Asia to sub-Saharan Africa. The strategically-important nation of Djibouti saw some of the most persistent protests, calling for the departure of Ismail Guelleh, who has been president of the country since 1999. The country is host to French and American naval bases and provides a major transit route in and out of Ethiopia. The detention of opposition figures and human rights activists, and the pressure on the government, provide similar challenges for the country’s international partners as those they faced in North Africa – with the preference for a strong figure to keep stability now being questioned.
Opposition candidate, Abdourahman Boreh, believes that attitudes may now change, and that the country’s partners may now realise that stability is secured through participation. “They have to think medium term and long term. Before, Western governments used to want to deal with a strongman. They didn’t care what kind of government he has,” he says. “That does not fly anymore. It is better to have the people’s consent, so that you have the agreement with the country, not with the strongman.”
You can read the full analysis here.