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Djibouti: playing the great game

Monday 1 December 2014 | News | Comments: 0

The December 2014/ January 2015 edition of The Africa Report contains two articles profiling President Guelleh’s regime in Djibouti.

The first discusses the resurgent political opposition in the country and questions the legitimacy of Guelleh’s diplomatic role as “Landlord-in-chief” for the world’s militaries. Despite reports of ill health, Guelleh has maintained control of domestic politics in Djibouti, banning the Mouvement pour la Développement et la Liberté because of Islamist policies and partnering with Ethiopia to “prevent the rise of the kind of Islamist insurgency that has entrenched itself in southern Somalia”. The article also reports that the finale of the tortuous legal battle between Mr Abdourahman Boreh and the Djiboutian government will play out next October. In an interview with The Africa Report, Boreh accuses Guelleh of presiding over an oppressive regime of obscene corruption which is driving out investors.

The second article covers President Guelleh’s “iron grip on Djibouti’s political space”, maintained by arresting and intimidating the country’s opposition forces. The article suggests that the year 2015 holds the potential for political reconciliation, in preparation for open and fair elections in 2016. Despite lucrative deals with the US, France and China, Djibouti still has a weakly diversified and informal economy; this article argues that democratic liberalisation could be the necessary vehicle for economic growth.

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