27/06/11 (B610) L’anniversaire de l’indépendance: le temps de la célébration et de la réflexion politique // (En Anglais par Ali Sultan) // Independence Day: Time for Celebration and Political Reflection

On the 27th of June 2011 Djibouti will have thirty four years of freedom of self rule. As history teaches this freedom has been a hard won and sometimes bitter fruit. Looking back over the past three decades prompts us to ask just what have we gained and what there is to celebrate.

The end result of this independence was not easy to achieve for Afar people. As many lives have been erased and so many homes and business destroyed.

Thousands of families have been permanently dislocated and the social and psychological damages are incalculable. Our liberties seem to be illusionary. All we are seeking in the long term is representation and justice for those who have brought deaths to ordinary people struggling to live in a dignified manner. To rejoice for something we do not truly possess is a diversion from the main goal of regime change or complete political reform.

Unlike the political body in power the people of Djibouti care about the welfare of each other. They are both fair and friendly with all however the politicians put their own interests and agenda before the people. They resort to feelings such as hatred; contempt and superiority to justify their evil actions against their own brothers and sisters. When I come back to my Afar brothers I see them oppressed and looking for freedom.

Presently we still find many bad apples in power. They spread poison to both their own ranks then quickly to the people. As we strive to unite to join hands challenging the regime they have us fight amongst ourselves in order that we do not achieve any tangible freedoms of our own.

Afar people need to be vigilant for narrow divisions where ever it rears its head. These battles are not worth fighting as the energies towards real freedoms are wasted. Soon the tactics of turning our people against one another will fail as we realize that is what our politicians desire. It is a tool of continual poverty and despair. Any benefits our politicians gain by this infighting will be eclipsed as we wake up one day and see clearly. When the scales fall from our eyes the focus will be solely on the politicians.

Ali Sultan