December 8, 2022

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Djibouti President

Coup attempt in Djibouti, some military & police officers under house arrest

Djibouti president

A coup attempt is being reported in Djibouti. Djibouti is part of the Horn of Africa region. It is strategically located near some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

It serves as a key refueling and transshipment center and is the principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighboring Ethiopia. A burgeoning commercial hub, the nation is the site of various foreign military bases.

Ismail Omar Guelleh has been in power in Djibouti for more than two decades. He is serving his 5th term as President. Guelleh was first elected as President in 1999 as the handpicked successor to his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who had ruled Djibouti since independence in 1977. He was re-elected in 2005, 2011, 2016, and in 2021. The elections were largely boycotted by the opposition amid complaints about widespread irregularities. 

According to some local sources, Djibouti authorities have uncovered a coup plot. Several top police and military commanders have been put under house arrest. Reportedly Major General Zakariya Sheikh and Colonel Abdullahi Abdi are under house arrest over alleged coup plot.

So far Djibouti government has not released any official statement in this regard. Some of the officials put under house arrest have just returned home from abroad. Upon their arrival in Djibouti, they were arrested.

Within the last 9 months, in 5 five African countries coups were reported. Militaries have seized power in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Fano. In Guinea Bissau last month, a coup attempt by drug traffickers failed. While in Sudan military led by General Abdul Fatah Al Burhan seized power in October last year. But after mass protests, the Sudan military stepped back and reinstated civilian Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok who later resigned.