Addis Ababa – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) called on Friday for the “immediate and unconditional release” of opposition party members arrested last month in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.
Police detained 19 members of the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (MRD) in a move the Paris-based rights group said was a sign of the growing authoritarianism of President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s government.
While 10 people were later released without being charged, nine were accused of “illegal banking activity”, which the FIDH said was related to a microcredit programme operated by the party that provided business financing to about 30 people.
Five people were also charged with “illegal political activities” and incarcerated in the country’s main prison.
The FIDH said their attorney was not allowed to visit them in detention and was threatened with arrest during a meeting at the prosecutor’s office.
“Political repression has once more befallen Djibouti, where arrests of political opponents are now the norm,” FIDH Vice-President Drissa Traore said in the statement. “The continued degradation of human rights remains a source of concern for the stability of the country.”
Guelleh has held power for 18 years in the country, strategically positioned on the Red Sea and home to several foreign military bases.
He won a fourth term in April 2016 with more than 86% of the vote in an election that opposition parties denounced as an “electoral masquerade”.
Djibouti-Tunisia Conference On Investment – Members Of TABC Received In The Palace Of The Republic
Arriving in Djibouti on 16 September to take part in the first Djibouto-Tunisian investment conference, Tunisian businessmen members of the Tunisia Africa Business Council, a newly created Business Council dedicated to Investments in Africa, were introduced yesterday to the head of State by the Minister to the presidency responsible for investments, Ali Guelleh Abd.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh warmly welcomed the Tunisian delegation led by Mr. Bassem Loukil, CEO of the eponymous group and president of the TABC
The head of State welcomed the Tunisian businessmen to Djibouti and spoke with them about the relations of friendship and cooperation between Tunisia and the Republic of Djibouti, the many similarities between the two countries and the partnership Between the two countries-which is in the process of being set up-and whose economic conference is the founding act.
The efforts made by the SDI to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and the provisions that have been made in the area of investment guarantee have also been mentioned.
At the end of the interview, the head of the Tunisian delegation, Bassem Loukil did not conceal the determination of the TABC to quickly ratify economic projects in Djibouti in many areas, including information technology, Telecommunications, agro-food and housing.
“We are all the more motivated to launch these projects quickly in Djibouti as your country offers all the successes for important investments,” said Mr. Bassem Loukil, who thanked the people and the Government of Djibouti for the reception received at Djibouti.
The Minister to the Investment presidency, Mr. Ali Guelleh Abd, has expressed his pride in the interest of Tunisian investors in our country. For him, the two countries, bound by a long and old friendship, are about to write together a new page of their common history.
Qatar Withdraws It’s Peace-Keeping Force As Punishment For Eritrea And Djibouti For Siding With Saudi Arabia
Qatar’s alleged support of terrorist organizations, which has already frayed its relation with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf states, is also destabilizing East Africa.
Qatar’s withdrawal of its peacekeepers on June 14 from the Djibouti-Eritrea border was a form of punishment to the disputing countries which supported the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, according to a senior researcher at a US Department of Defense think tank.
“Punishing Djibouti and Eritrea for breaking relations with Qatar was one reason for the withdraw of Qatari peacekeepers,” said Joseph Siegle, director of research for DOD funded African Center for Strategic Studies.
Qatar responded almost immediately after the two embattled countries announced support and removed nearly 500 troops it had kept since 2010 in a border.
Eritrea, which is larger and better armed than Djibouti, quickly moved into the disputed territories of Dumeira mountain and Dumeira Island.
Although no shots were fired, tensions have increased dramatically in the area. In June 2008, the two countries fought a brief war that claimed roughly 200 dead and wounded. Qatari peacekeepers arrived in 2010 as part of a Doha led mediation process.
In a renewed round of open conflict, the odds would heavily favor Eritrea. Eritrea has a veteran military as well as larger numbers of armored fighting vehicles and combat aircraft.
“The military and the state apparatus are full of veterans of previous conflicts,” Siegle said. “In fact, the state as an institution is more focused on conflict than Djibouti.”
He said the tense situation is yet another unhappy consequence of Qatari policies that have provoked a range of harsh responses from its neighbors. The persistent efforts by its Gulf neighbors to punish and isolate it since June have strained its resources so that the removal of peacekeepers is as much an act of redeployment as retribution.
“I think it’s a combination of the reason that is most strategic and Qatar has a limited number of forces and it is dealing with the more threatening situation given the current embargo,” Siegel said.
“It has bigger strategic interests than the border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea. I think punishing Djibouti for breaking relations with Qatar was a factor but, it was secondary in the context of the current crisis. Qatar has other ways of punishing Djibouti in the regional context.”
>> READ MORE : Peaceful Settlement of Eritrea – Djibouti Conflict Achieved: Qatar
The dispute lies along a small section of the 110-kilometer-long Djiboutian-Eritrean frontier. An agreement signed in 1900 between France and Italy left the precise location of the border along the Dumeira Mountain and Dumeira Islands ill defined.
Djibouti is a founding member of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism founded by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense and the small Red Sea nation has also formally joined the US-led and anti-ISIS coalition.
Qatar’s sudden withdraw may not have only cost Djibouti a strip of its territory. Djibouti also worries about the fate of its Djiboutian prisoners of war held by Eritrea – an issue that Qatar had attempted to negotiate.
At the end of the 2008 conflict, Eritrea held 19 Djiboutian prisoners of war. Four were later were released, and two escaped according to the Djiboutian government.
>> ALSO READ : Eritrea Freed Djibouti Prisoners of War
“[Eritrea] continues to spread blatant lies about the prisoner’s condition and has refused to account for them despite repeated calls by the Security Council,” according to Mohammed Dualeh, Djibouti’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Djibouti hosts several foreign military bases, Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion outpost, has been America’s only permanent military base in Africa since 2001.
The country has also welcomed military bases from China and Japan in recent years.
Via Tesfa News!
Tension In The Persian Gulf As Eritrea And Djibouti Boundary Dispute Escalates
enThis is an unexpected consequence of the crisis in the Persian Gulf. The withdrawal of Qatari troops from the border between Djibouti and Eritrea has rekindled tension between the two neighbors of the Horn of Africa. The African Union will send a delegation to Asmara.
Djibouti’s appeal to the African Union (AU) was heard. On the second and final day of the AU summit, on Tuesday, 4 July, African Heads of State decided to send a delegation of representatives to Eritrea. Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh had pleaded in Addis Ababa for a quick intervention, reports La Nation:
He wanted the Union to take charge of the matter so that there could be a rapid de-escalation of the tension arising from the once warlike attitude of Asmara. ”
The Djibouti daily denounces the attitude of the Eritrean neighbor: “The president recalled that since the withdrawal of Qatari intervention troops, Eritrea had violated the status quo ante by approaching the conflict zone, Namely the Ras Doumeira and the island of Doumeira, which, as everyone knows, belong to the Republic of Djibouti and which Asmara claims in a senseless way. ”
This 125-kilometer border, demarcated by the French and Italian colonizers at the beginning of the 20th century, has been the subject of a dispute for two decades. “The first time this problem was raised was in 1996 when Djibouti accused Eritrea of making a map of the country including part of the Djiboutian territory,” recalls the Pan-African site Pambazuka News.
A crisis-ridden region
In April 2008, an incursion of Eritrean troops into the strategic promontory of the Ras Doumeira area revived the tension. But an agreement was signed between the two countries in June 2010, under the aegis of Qatar.
“While progress has been made through mediation efforts – such as the release of Djiboutian prisoners of war in 2016 – there has been surprisingly little progress in demarcating the common border,” said Awate.
The site of the Eritrean opposition in exile regrets the withdrawal of Qatar in mid-June, provoked by the crisis between the latter and Saudi Arabia, of which Eritrea and Djibouti are allies: “The last thing in the region Needs, it is an increased militarization. “He lists the ongoing civil wars in Yemen and South Sudan and the instability in Somalia. “When Saudi Arabia and its allies broke off their diplomatic relations in June, the fate of Ras Doumeira was probably not at the heart of their complex geostrategic calculations,” notes the Ethiopian newspaper The Reporter, before continuing:
Yet, on this stretch of land in the harsh climate of the Horn of Africa, the current Gulf crisis threatens to destroy a decade long peace. ”
In the event of renewed hostilities between Eritrea, considered a pariah state, and Djibouti, the host country for several foreign military bases, the daily newspaper of Addis Ababa fears an economic impact for Ethiopia, whose access To the sea depends on Djibouti.
But also for the rest of the world: “This disputed border is arid and remote but strategic, overlooking the Straits of Bab El-Mandeb, at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. More than 10,000 boats take this strait every year, carrying tens of billions of dollars worth of goods, including 4% of the world’s oil supply. ”
CAC International named “Bank of the year 2016 – Djibouti”, according to the Financial Times
By Mahad, Thu, December 22 Financial magazine The Banker of the Financial Times Group has awarded the Bank of the Year 2016 – Djibouti prize to the International Bank CAC. The Banker, the benchmark publication of the financial world published by the Financial Times, annually awards its prizes to the best financial institutions.
The jury, which is composed of around 100 professionals from the financial sector, draws on the performance and major accomplishments they have achieved over the last twelve months. So it is for the second consecutive year that the CAC Bank, is awarded the trophy of “Best Bank of the year 2016” in Djibouti. “We are very pleased that our bank, our good performance and the quality of our business project are recognized by industry experts.
Thanks to the professionalism of each of our employees and the quality of the services we offer our clients, we have been able to win this award. It is an encouragement to redouble our efforts, “said Ahmed Hameed Aldeib, Managing Director of CAC International. For this edition of the “Bank of the Year”, the jury paid particular attention to the difficult context.
This is particularly relevant to the difficult context of the banking sector and to the strategic initiatives put in place by financial institutions, as competition continues to grow and customers are increasingly demanding. As a reminder, the CAC Bank (Cooperative & Agricultural Credit Bank) opened its doors in 2009, and has carried out a major modernization in recent years, using new technologies with e-banking, mobile banking, distributors Tickets, credit cards.
Over the last few years Cac Bank has evolved to become one of the leading institutions in the financial center of Djibouti and has extended a wide range of innovative products and services to cover all commercial banking services both for the Business and retail customers. MMK
Ilhan Omar, the first American of Somali origin soon elected in Minnesota
Our columnist traces the career of the former refugee, set to win in 33 years, a Democratic seat in the state in the Midwest.Blessed time for xenophobic populists. Shamelessly no, they erect their lies by irrefutable facts. They often fly. One trumpeted everywhere he wants to give back to his country to its former greatness, the other claims to save the people of Béziers , which he is the elected official, the invasion of foreigners. A thousand miles of these barkers, it is pleasing tosee emerge here and there personalities unexpected that bring meaning to the policy , by setting up other forms of relational economy.
It’s on a television screen that I saw for the first time in March 2016. She played big that night and she was not ignorant. Towards the end of the night, the result falls: the Democratic primary in Minnesota was won by Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton . She rejoices because the results in his area are very good for the candidate of his heart.She ? Ilhan Omar. A small woman in frail body and face illuminated by a broad smile . His name you said anything yet, but tomorrow is another matter.
Arrive 12 years in the US
At 33, Ilhan Omar is the new darling of the Democratic Party of the State of the Midwest. On 9 August, it wins hands, in turn, the primary locally. Better still, it has a history very beautiful. And the United States, all the world loves uplifting stories written in addition to the first person singular.
Born in 1982 in Somalia , Ilhan Omar was just 8 years old when the civil war throws on the road much of the population . Like other families, that of future activist ends up in a refugee camp in Kenya , where she lives four years before being allowed to emigrate to the United States. At 12, it is in Arlington, Virginia, that she made her first steps within the East African Community survivor of the conflicts that continue to destabilize the Horn of Africa . Two years, the family Omar left Virginia to join Minneapolis and St. Paul, the citiesbinoculars Minnesota which contain the largest Somali community in the Americas.
District to cut it
All migrants fail to acclimate to the new environment . As the chrysalis that is dying to give birth to the butterfly, Ilhan Omar embrace her new identity: “For the first time, I realized that I was black and Muslim, and my skin color and my hijab distinguished me from rest of the population, and made my Somali refugee identification obvious to all eyes, “ she tells reporters. By helping his grandfather eager to fulfill his duty Civic, the schoolgirl discovered a passion for the “public thing”. It is based activist of the Democratic Party, putting up posters, going door to door, inviting family and friends to register as voters and to exercise their constitutional rights. Raised by his father and grandfather, who passed on their thirst for justice and freedom, the small stateless fulfills an exemplary school career crowned with a degree in science policy. But it is on the field social it stands, working for the most humble. She never forgot where she came from: “When we landed in the United States, I did not speak English. “
Read the review: The French Africa resurrected from Holland Africanus
Married with three children, is a candidate for nerves of steel who travels the apartment blocks and social centers to be full of voices. It remains for him to transform the test.Observers agree that the future smiles at the old become small Somali refugee candidate for local Democrats in a caution that seems cut out for it . Demographic composition it is very favorable, bringing together Americans of origin is African and progressive residents related to academic institutions nearby. At a time when the presidential candidate of the United States Donald Trump dons a daily xenophobic and Islamophobic coat, 60B District voters are poised to him inflict a stinging uppercut. The Republican candidate, also Somali, just throw in the towel for personal reasons. On the evening of November 8, Ilhan Omar should become the first black woman of Somali origin, Muslim, elected Minnesota.It would be surprising that it stops there way.
Somali rapper’s HBO series stokes hopes and fears in Minneapolis
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 — 9:10AM
Video (04:30) : Somali rapper K’naan performed for a crowd at the West Bank Block Party on Saturday before some protesters disrupted his appearance. Video courtesy www.sjhassan.com.
It was supposed to be a special occasion. Sporting a Twins cap, the renowned rapper K’naan Warsame took the stage at a neighborhood block party to “share a little love” with Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area, the nerve center for local Somali community life.
People young and old swayed and mouthed the words to his songs at the free concert. Then the signs started popping up: “K’naan and Bigelow — stop exploiting the Somali community.” At least a dozen protesters started chanting, “Shut it down.” People started pushing and shoving. A large police officer wrestled with a young female protester who jumped on stage. Soon there was no more music — only angry voices. “Let me explain,” K’naan pleaded.
But after two songs, it was over. The singer left the stage. Police pepper-sprayed the crowd after some hurled plastic bottles. Two people were arrested on suspicion of rioting, the Saturday event having turned from block party to block chaos.
Heated debate over K’naan’s latest project — a TV pilot for an HBO series called “Mogadishu, Minnesota” — has reached a boiling point. Many Somali-Americans in Minnesota fear it will depict them as terrorists, reinforcing a stereotype and further marginalizing young people who already feel burdened by negative portrayals that they say prevent them from getting jobs and respect.
But many other local Somali-Americans see the TV pilot as a rare chance to boost the community — both in the form of jobs related to the production and by presenting on-screen for the first time a story told from the Somali Muslim point of view. K’naan will do justice to the story, they say, because he is directing, writing and is executive producer.
The hostile reception stunned K’naan, an artist known throughout the Somali diaspora for his songs in support of Somali people and social-justice causes.
Gallery: Rapper K’naan Warsame at West Bank Block Party
In an exclusive Star Tribune interview Tuesday, K’naan spoke publicly for the first time at length about the show and about the debate within the local Somali community about his project that was exposed at Saturday’s block party.
He appeared mystified. He was surprised, he said, that “misinformation” about the show and his intentions could stoke such a reaction. And so for the past few nights, he has been meeting with the protest leaders in his apartment and at coffee shops to hear their concerns and explain his project.
“I’ve always set out to represent my culture and my people in a true light and a good light,” K’naan said. “My hope is that I will spend time with the community and relieve their fears, by letting them hear from me firsthand what I’m up to and that I’m working on their behalf.”
For the young Somali-American activists protesting the show, their fears about media portrayals should come as no surprise. They’ve grown tired of Hollywood movies that portray Somalis only as bad guys. They’re tired of TV crews coming into the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, drawn to the image of “the Towers,” and using the high-rise apartment complex as a backdrop for live shots about terrorism-related stories.
They argue that most of the young men who left to join terrorist groups didn’t even live in the buildings, much less in the neighborhood.
Many are wary of any project that includes Kathryn Bigelow, the director whose films about conflict in the Middle East, including “The Hurt Locker,’’ and “Zero Dark Thirty,” have won awards but not many Muslim fans. She is an executive producer for the show.
Filsan Ibrahim, 27, a leading voice during the block party protest, said the demonstration was a collective neighborhood effort.
“We are against what K’naan and Kathryn Bigelow and HBO and anybody that’s a part of this and supporting this are doing,” she said on Saturday, at times leading “Shut it down” chants. “The whole goal for the movie series they’re doing is to portray Somalis as terrorists, and our community is more than that. If they want to portray Somalis as hardworking, new Americans who are integrating, we’re all for that,” she said. “There’s enough press about us being pirates and being terrorists, and we don’t want to feed that narrative.”
The protest highlighted differing views within the Somali community.
Some who sympathized with the group’s concerns questioned its tactics. Said concertgoer Zakariya Hassan, 23: “K’naan is one of my favorite artists. Some people just wanted to ruin this. At least let the guy explain. Don’t ruin it for everyone.”
Mohamud Noor, a community leader, is among those supporting the HBO show, because it was conceived and is being led by “one of our own.” Amid Saturday’s mayhem, he said: “The youth have every right to be angry about something they know nothing about. But it should not have escalated to this level.”
“That’s not what they wanted to do, but unfortunately it got a little bit out of control.”
At his production office in northeast Minneapolis this week, K’naan said he learned some things by listening to the protest leaders.
“They actually opened my eyes to something,” he said. “Stuck in my own point of view, I was not thinking of how the community could potentially see something like this be damaging.
“There is no precedence for a Muslim Somali man leading the charge, taking control of our narrative, and telling a story that is for them and not against them,” he said. “So why should they feel that I can truly be in control of their narrative? When everything about them historically has always been against them. So I have a newfound empathy about that. …”
Fueling the community apprehension is the fact that very little has been disclosed about the show — to be filmed in the Twin Cities beginning next month.
DAVID JOLES, STAR TRIBUNE
The rapper K’naan was met Saturday with a hostile reaction to his TV project. The Somali artist says he’ll “represent my people in a true light.”
K’naan described the project as a family drama, set within a Somali-American family and following a second-generation young man named Sameer.
“I would say that some of the most general themes of the show are addressing how the multigenerational immigrant family — between the second and the first generation — how they process the world through two very different lenses,” he said. “And how in particular, the second-generation young American processes his grievances with this country differently than his parents do.”
For three years, the New York-based K’naan thought deeply about creating this family drama that reflects Somali expats. Little did he know that he would battle fellow Somalis to defend his work.
Originally titled “The Recruiters,” the series talks about radicalization, but K’naan said that topic occupies a small part of the overall story line.
“It is not unaddressed,” he said. “But it is addressed in proportion to what it is in life. And when it is addressed, it is addressed entirely from the point of view of a Somali family. There is no law enforcement point of view in the show.”
He also explained that the title, which has been changed, was misunderstood. It was a poetic twist, he said, and “The Recruiters” referred to the FBI — not Muslims recruiting for terrorist groups.
He chose Minnesota as the setting for his story for several reasons, including its status as home to the largest Somali population in the nation and its visually arresting backdrop of winter juxtaposed against a summer people. It’s also a place where the challenges for first- and second-generation Somali-Americans are in play.
“It’s also for me the most in action of being in the negotiation of what it means to be an immigrant and second generation,” he said. “The finding of the identities in that is most prevalent in Minnesota.”
DAVID JOLES • DJOLES@STARTRIBUNE.COM
“My hope is that I will spend time with the community and relieve their fears, by letting them hear from me firsthand what I’m up to and that I’m working on their behalf.” K’naan, above greeting fans at the West Bank Block Party on Saturday in Minneapolis
With casting nearly finished, the show is set to begin production next month.
Whether both local Somali-Americans and the broader public will embrace the show remains to be seen.
K’naan remains confident that the work will speak for itself.
“I believe in people at the end of the day.”
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