Protesters in Djibouti rally to replace president

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Protesters in Djibouti rally to replace president

Post by Strawberry on Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:56 am

NAIROBI, Kenya — An opposition candidate said authorities used batons and tear gas against thousands of protesters in the tiny nation of Djibouti on Friday, the latest in a series of rallies modeled after demonstrations across Africa and the Middle East.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh has served two terms and faces an election in April, but critics lament changes he made to the constitution last year that scrubbed a two-term limit from the nation’s bylaws. Guelleh’s family has been in power for more than three decades, and Friday’s rally was aimed at getting him to step down.

Djibouti is a city-state of 750,000 people that lies across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen. It hosts several military bases, including the only US base in Africa.

Guelleh, who looks poised to win re-election, didn’t face any opponents in 2005. One potential challenger this year, Abdourahman Boreh, is supporting the series of anti-Guelleh demonstrations but lives overseas and is currently in London.
Boreh, 51, said that if he returned to Djibouti he would be thrown in prison and possibly tortured. He said Friday’s rally was attended by thousands and was peaceful in the early goings. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators earlier in February.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/February/international_February606.xml§ion=international&col=
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