Djibouti on Tuesday dismissed speculation about President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s nicely being as “poison” aimed towards destabilising the nation and acknowledged the 73-year-old was merely taking simply a couple of days off to recuperate from overwork.
Re-elected for a fifth time interval in April, Guelleh has dominated Djibouti since 1999 and has used his nation’s distinctive place on the Horn of Africa to lure patrons and abroad navy powers, all whereas sustaining an iron grip on power.
Hours after rumours began to circulation into Monday that Guelleh had flown to Paris and checked proper right into a hospital, Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf issued a group of tweets saying the tales on social media had been incorrect.
“All the information circulating on the networks is poison spread to disturb our fellow citizens,” Youssouf wrote.
“Our President is fine. A slight bout of fatigue from overwork and a lack of rest during the summer forced him to take a few days of rest and get a check-up.”
Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed accused unnamed opponents of “spreading nauseating rumours” and trying to find to destabilise the nation.
“The President of the Republic is on private travel, as was long planned on his agenda, and will be back in the next few days in Djibouti,” Mohamed wrote on Facebook.
– Handpicked successor –
A polyglot who speaks six languages, Guelleh, greater acknowledged by his initials IOG, was the handpicked successor to his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon, the nation’s first president after independence from France in 1977.
As Aptidon’s extremely efficient chief of staff, he had administration over security forces and the intelligence firms ready he held for 22 years.
In 1999, Aptidon stepped down, passing the torch to Guelleh, who was elected and never utilizing a wrestle.
Guelleh seized on Djibouti’s distinctive geographic location on the Red Sea to develop the tiny, arid nation of one million of us proper right into a reliable worldwide navy and maritime hub.
The third-smallest nation by area on the African mainland, and sandwiched between unstable neighbours, Djibouti launched into an infrastructure blitz, courting foremost funding in its quest to become the “Dubai of Africa”.
It hosts navy bases for worldwide powers along with France, the United States, Japan and China.
Despite a plethora of infrastructure duties however, many Djiboutians nonetheless keep in grinding poverty.
Guelleh’s authorities has moreover been accused by rights groups of cracking down on dissent, limiting free speech and suppressing opposition occasions.
With an age cap prohibiting him from working a sixth time, Guelleh is anticipated to anoint a successor from inside his private trusted circle, in rather a lot the an identical fashion as his private appointment.