When somebody asks me about the Djiboutian human rights, whether they are OK, or not, I might freeze, for a while... and then answer carefully.
I might do this, because Djibouti is not like the other states in the Horn of Africa and East Africa and by this location on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development called in abbreviation the IGAD it might look different from other states.
Well, from a remote angle Djibouti is like them and from another nearby angle it isn't.
The Djiboutian political problems might be a kind of the same nature and the Djiboutian political scene might reflect the same issues we find in other states in the HOA, with similar angles, but slightly different.
Even so, there are still some differences, which near them to the Somali political problems and the Somali political scene. We can see them here and only in this Somali vision very clear, although the population (Afars and the Issas) reside also in other countries, like Eritrea and Ethiopia.
Looking at the population background, we see some facts that indicate that the differences between the population could possibly make human rights abuses, especially when the population consist of two or three or more groups of clans, or tribes.
What would we see when we look at the background of the population in Djibouti?
Regarding the tribes factor, they call the area of those people the "French territory of the Afars and the Issas".
Historically, France should have ended this claim when they worked with Menlik (منليك) to offer him OBOK (Djibouti) as a gift for his loyalty to France and as a passage to the sea across the Somaliland.
At that time, France had even entered his bedroom to design it.
OBOCK, or UBUK (اوبوك) is a small town port on the northern shore of the Gulf of Tadjoura (خليج تاجورا او تاجورة) and it opens into the Gulf of Adan (خليج عدن). This is why Yemen has some influences there through history by this nearer locations. For details on beautiful towns there, see 100-beautiful-sites-in-the-world.com/gondar.html.
For political and historical facts, see my book "The Political Tragedy of the Horn of Africa" on the Apple iTunes Store. The iTunes badge is at the topi of the right column, so you can read about the first book on analyzing the political development in the Horn of Africa, before ordering it. Thanks.
The Afars are Hamitic Muslim and pastoral nomads, which makes them indigenous people. They are also a population minority in Eritrea (إرتريا) and they live in the costal lowlands of Eritrea in the north of the Rift Valley, which is hot and dry most of the time.
So, taking the climate facts, they suffer from famine, normally and therefore they move forward for water and grass. They did this through history. They used to move with their herds to the regions of the Tcheffa Valley to pasture on the inland delta of the Awash River.
When this area occupied by cotton and sorghum farms 200,000 Afars were displaced because of the new rules of the new irrigated land and they couldn't move back to their traditional grazing land during drought.
Their mobility was limited, weapons flew to the Issas (their competitors) and clashes began between the Afar (العفر) and the Issas. The Issas (العيسي) are ethnic Somalis. This is the cause of the crises in the area.
In Ethiopia, the problems are just just more than this, but with other clans, adding to this scope of humiliation historical oppression by the Amharic and Tigrayan emperors. The Ethiopian political problems diver from this angle and the Ethiopian political scene gets weird sometimes.
Nevertheless, the problems are also different now, although the Afars reside in the Afar Regional State, which is one of nine regional states in Ethiopia, with its capital Semera. The total area is 72.053 km² with 1.812,002 population.
Although life conditions and livelihoods are very similar, some social complexities may add some kind of abuses among these races.
In addition, the issues of the distribution of power and wealth between nationalities in the same country also create violations of the rights of minorities, or even other non-governing nationalities.
What is happening in Djibouti is almost a kind of violation of human rights and this has been evident throughout the period of FRUD working against the Djiboutian authorities. The Djiboutian human rights are one of the issues for which the FRUD is struggling.
Add to these facts, what we usually know about the existence of a system of favoritism in Djibouti for the faithful and loyal people, as it works for their favor, equipping them to receive ministerial posts through carefully crafted elections for the victory of those who are favored by the ruling party and who are loyal to the president.
When we read that Djibouti has a strong elected president and a weak legislature, we know for sure all of the facts mentioned above. This statement actually works when the political system is corrupted.
Looking at this in the light of the number of population and ethnicities and the size of the land, we know for sure, why there is not strong voices enough to declare the abuses.
Despite this, it wasn't a surprise when the Freedom in the World Report reported in 2011 the human rights situations in Djibouti and ranked Djibouti as "NOT FREE". In fact there was martial violence escalating before even the year mentioned as from 2008 during the border clashes with Eritrea.
The national governing periods are not that OK since the day of the independence from France in 1977, when Hassan Gouled Aptidon became a president and declared his party, the People's Rally for Progress the sole legal party in 1981 and this party is still in control of everything.
This proves that there are not any human rights to claim political power, despite the efforts to come up with many fractions to make political umbrellas with different party names and plan the elections to consider that democracy.
It is not only the equality rights to political sharing, but Djibouti has a bad refugees abuse records. It treats refugees not well, as some media sources report.
The press is also not free for all, as it is operating for the favor of the ruling party, despite the fact that the authorities allowed some free press fro a while like what's called the opposition newspaper, Le Renouveau.
The authorities banned it in 2007, after publishing a report saying that a businessman bribed the governor of of the central Bank of Djibouti, who is the brother in law of the president Email Omar Guelleh.
It is normal to abuse the rights of journalists. Ahmed Dear Robleh wrote a poetry criticizing the president, so he was arrested on 2 July 2009 and sentenced to six months in jail. Following that in 2011 the authorities arrested dozens of political opponents, among them were reporters to European radio stations.
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