For more than 30 years the same group of corrupt leaders have been telling people of Djibouti that we will become another Somalia …whenever people demanded justice, good governance, decent living condition and accountability. The People of Djibouti had enough of this one party (RPP), with no vision, ruling the country since independence 34 years ago.
Today’s demonstration was so successful in the international media and is already changing their opinions and perceptions that Google News alone has more than 200 news links on the rally and its aftermath. American media, from the New York Times to local small newspapers like the Macon Telegraph talked about how Guelleh and his corrupted few ruled the country since independence.
Life in Djibouti is becoming so expensive that even the US military is giving special subsidies and bonuses to keep workers there. No, the extremely hot weather was the not reason the US Military personnel cited when they rated Djibouti as the 3rd least liked place to be stationed, of course behind Afghanistan and Iraq, it was the cost of living there.
Today, the average Djiboutian family can’t afford to live on even 500 US dollars a month. A lot of families are moving to Somalia in places like Borama and Hargeisa where 200 US dollars feed a family of six decently. Two out of every three child under the age of ten is severely malnourished according to UNICEF.
The unemployment rate is more than 75%. A 50 kg sac of rice cost ten times less in Zaylac, a 15 minutes drive away from Djibouti. In Ethiopia where most of the goods are imported through Djibouti’s strategically located seaport, life is also ten times cheaper there.
Yet this corrupt leader’s wife goes on shopping sprees in Paris and spend millions of dollars on jewelry and designer clothes that she obviously never wears, I’ve never seen her wearing an YSL or Louis Vuitton dress in public, while the people of Djibouti have no electricity and water. It’s a well-known fact that she goes on buying sprees « aux Champs Elysees » and Dubai.
Djibouti has been blessed with a geo-strategically located seaport at the entrance of the Red Sea, a very important global shipping channel, and a small population of less than a million people. Sometimes it’s not the natural or mineral resources of a nation that matter but it’s LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION that counts.
The city-state of Singapore is a good example of a small nation with no natural and agricultural resources that took advantage of its position in the Melaka Straits. A country geographical LOCATION is as important if not more important as its fertile lands and mineral resources.
According to UCLA professor Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Eurasian hegemony over Africa is not due to intellectual superiority or resources abundance there. The geographical location of Eurasia gave an edge and advantage over resources rich Africa. The problem in Djibouti is not the absence of arable land or oil and gas etc…
But the lack of visionary leadership and democratic institutions that foster economic development and employment creation in a country ranked number one by the UN with the highest unemployment rate (59% gov. own numbers but more than 75% in reality) in the world.
Let’s Praise the lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all be free.
Midnimo Inkitino Alwaxda Unite
Mahamed Jama Barraley