The nation of Djibouti, officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered in the north by Eritrea, in the west and south by Ethiopia, and in the southeast by Somalia. For the last sixteen-plus years, the country has been headed by Ismail Omar Guelleh (IOG), except for the earliest hours of that period, when it was managed by its security services and then briefly led by the current leader's uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon. IOG himself parachuted to the top step of power in 1999 with an overwhelming electoral victory. In 2016, he was re-elected with more than 80% of the vote--which actually peaked at 86%.
Unfortunately, Ismail Omar Guelleh has a problem with abuse of power, though it is not directly related to the very long period he has held office. Sixteen-plus years does seem a bit long, but it is not, after all, too much longer than, for example, the 14-year reign of Mitterrand in France. The problem with IOG, ultimately, is not even the overwhelming majority with which he has won two elections. Those majorities do pretty much resemble results you get in a Banana Republic, but, very well, why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Perhaps he's simply gifted with extraordinary charisma! So he may be, but I'll tell you precisely why his hold on power can't be explained away that easily! Following removal of the limitation on presidential terms by parliament in 2010 in a vote boycotted by the opposition, and especially following six elections, three presidential and three legislative, in which the outcome was either fraudulent or boycotted, Mr. Dictator Ismael Omar Guelleh, just a few weeks before another fast-approaching presidential election, blocked the process of democratizing and building a state of law in Djibouti.
On December 21, 2015, the police and the army fired on the participants at a private meeting (Yonis Moussa), causing dozens of deaths--at least 27, according to the International Federation for Human Rights (in Djibouti, the FIDH). In addition, many more participants went missing or were injured. In the afternoon of the same day, police fired on the leaders of a Union of National Salvation (USN) meeting. In this act of repression, the bloodsucker IOG and his government perpetrated a massacre on people who had gathered to celebrate a private ceremony (Siiyarad).
According to political opposition members and a domestic human rights organization, IOG's Djibouti government seldom makes an effort to prosecute unlawful attacks on the exercise of civil rights. Instead, it has engaged in arbitrary arrests, prolonged pretrial detentions, unlawful killings, abuse of journalists, and, especially, harassment and abuse of its political opposition. There is no freedom of speech and press in Djibouti and no democratization. Instead, there is only corruption, discrimination, and violence against women.
In its ranking of 175 countries for their level of corruption (no. 175 being the most corrupt), the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International lists Djibouti 99th. In earlier corruption rankings from the same source, Djibouti averaged 100.33 from 2007 until 2015, reaching an all-time high ranking for corruption at 111th in 2009 and a record low ranking of 91st in 2010.