The toll of ethnic violence on August 1 and 2 in Djibouti, which saw Somali and Afar communities confront each other, according to sources from the Djiboutian League for Human Rights (LDDH) resulted in 15 deaths and dozens of injuries.

The same report accuses the country’s security forces of exploiting and managing the violence of the Somali community against the Afar minority, resulting in a new phase of escalation between the two main ethnic groups in the country.

The report released on August 13 by LDDH alleges that Djibouti police have been engaged in a hostile policy towards the Afar community for months, and that tensions then peaked last July, when some young residents of Warabeleh and PK 12 neighborhoods were arbitrarily arrested and beaten by police forces.

The climate of violence allegedly led to the deliberate burning of 25p homes in the Afar community, with the outbreak of violence on August 1 and 2 leading to the widespread clashes in the city that were reported by much of the international press.

The LDDH blames President Omar Guelleh for this violence in no uncertain terms. In their opinion, he is motivated by the desire to consolidate his power through ethnic conflict between the majority of Issa Somalis and Afars. The same opinion is shared by the political oppositions, which increase the dose accusing the international community of keeping silent about the role of the president and the violence by virtue of the interests related to the presence of military bases and the port.

During the last week, finally, two bomb attacks have been carried out in Djibouti against two police stations, claimed by an Afar organization that signs itself as FRUD – Front for the Restoration of Democracy. The latest attack was conducted on August 15 against a police station in the village of Asal, 55 km from the capital, causing the destruction of the building.


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