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Ruling party expected to win Djibouti’s 2016 elections

Sunday, December 21, 2014

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Djibouti will be holding elections in 2016, and the ruling People’s Rally for Progress, or RPP, under the current President Ismail Omar Guelleh is expected to win. CCTV America’s Girum Chala reported this story from Djibouti.

Approximately 1 million people reside in Djibouti, arguably the smallest nation in Africa with about 11 political parties. Elections have taken place every six years since the country’s civil war ended in the 1990s.

Gulleh, who has ruled the country for 15 years, said he wants the current development to continue even after the 2016 elections.

“When you have a coalition of parties everybody will try to be in this coalition and form this coalition to win the election,” Gulleh said. “It is not the question of [a] person. The person will be changed like our friends in China. And automatically there will be change of personalities, but not change on the line of development.”

Djibouti is strategically located at the Red Sea and the Gulf of Eden, and military bases from the United States, France and Japan are located here.

“Djibouti made the decision to host foreign military forces in its soil because we felt at that time that it was possible to contribute to the global peace through helping those forces fight terrorism and piracy by using our facilities,” said Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Djibouti’s foreign minister.

Despite its size, Djibouti is an active participant in peacekeeping missions in the horn of Africa. For instance has one battalion force in Somalia securing an area larger than Djibouti itself.

“We are the smallest in the whole of Africa and we couldn’t stay at home and see our brothers in neighboring countries losing lives there and scarifying their sons,” Gulleh said. “I said we should participate in any way. In a number we started with one battalion and now we are adding another one.”

Djibouti has also entirely based its economic and political future on the Red Sea; a port there now connects Africa’s land-locked nations such as Ethiopia to the rest of the world.

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