Key agreement with government reaches ‘deadlock’ in Djibouti

Friday 05/06/2015
Call for mediation

ADDIS ABABA - The main opposition coalition in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti said Monday that a key agreement with the government following contested elections in 2013 had reached "deadlock".

The deal, signed in December 2014, was seen as crucial for the stability of the strategic nation, paving the way for the opposition Union for National Salvation (USN) to take up seats in parliament a year after elections it accused the government of rigging.

But USN president Ahmed Youssouf Houmed said no progress had been made since signing.

"More than five months after the signing of the framework agreement... it is clear that the terms of the agreement have not been implemented," Houmed said.

He requested, in a statement, that a "third party" be brought in to mediate "to help break the deadlock in negotiations."

There was no immediate reaction from the government.

Home to the main port used by neighbouring landlocked Ethiopia, Djibouti is situated on one of the world's busiest shipping lanes and also hosts several foreign military bases, including those of the United States, France and Japan.

The 2014 deal saw the USN accept defeat in the elections in exchange for democratic and institutional reforms, that they say have not been implemented.

Despite being in power for 16 years, 67-year old President Ismael Omar Guelleh told AFP last month he had not ruled out running for a fourth term in elections due next year.

1