Two Djibouti opposition groups yesterday condemned the “violent repression” by security forces of a rally they organised last week to demand regime change.
“We condemn the violent repression against Djiboutians who were only expressing themselves at Gouled stadium,” said a statement by the Union for Democratic Change and the Union for Democratic Movement—the two main opposition parties.
Opposition supporters on Friday staged an unprecedent anti-government protest in the capital Djibouti, but which later degenerated into clashes when police fired teargas to break up the gathering at the city’s main stadium. The two parties said they wanted a “peacefull and democratic change—like in Tunisia—to put an end to bad governance and endemic corruption”.
Friday’s demonstrators were demanding the ouster of President Ismael Omar Guelleh, who has been in power since 1999 and had the constitution amended last year to allow him to seek a third mandate in April 8 elections.
In their statement, the opposition groups demanded an investigations into the violence which they said claimed the lives of up to three protesters and wounded about 100 others.