27 February 2013

Djiboutian Government Calls for Election Protestors to Maintain Order

Photo: D. Hakes/Carter Center Photos
A man has his finger dipped in indelible ink after voting (file photo).

Djiboutian Interior Minister Hassan Darar Houffaneh on Tuesday (February 26th) called on supporters of the opposition Union for National Salvation (USN) to refrain from public protests over last Friday's legislative elections, the Djiboutian Information Agency reported.

Houffaneh said the protests only pretend to be about politics, but are rather groups of youths who want to de-stabilise the country. He said the opposition had the right to contest the elections using the justice system, but any actions threatening to upset Djibouti's stability would not be tolerated.

USN supporters and students staged protests in the capital city Monday and Tuesday, claiming the February 22nd legislative elections were fraudulent, charges the government denies.

Sheikhs Abdirahman Bashir and Abdirahman God of the Movement for Development and Liberty (Model) were arrested, and three USN officials -- spokesman Daher Ahmed Farah, leader Ismail Guedi Hared and coalition president Ahmed Youssouf -- have been placed under house arrest.

"The situation is tense," Daher said according to AFP. Police have charged the crowds using batons and tear gas, arresting 300 people on Monday alone, he said.

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