A Djibouti court has sentenced five former members of the institutions to sentences ranging from six months to five years on charges of corruption and leaking confidential conversations of President Ismail Omar Guelleh himself.

Those convicted include Yabe Said Guelleh and Ibrahim Abdi Guelleh, who were accused of illegally leaking highly sensitive telephone conversations, and for whom the court ordered a five-year prison sentence.

Sentenced to three years in prison, meanwhile, were former Police Chief Abdullahi Abdi Farah and former Budget Minister Boode Ahmed Roble, on charges of bribery and embezzlement.

Finally, the Djibouti court also sentenced Abdalla Hassan Iltire, former director of the central bank, to six months in prison on charges of participating in a conspiracy to defraud.

The sentences handed down by the Djibouti court come at the height of a period of heightened political tension within the governing apparatus, where a faction hostile to the role of President Guelleh and his family has been accused of hatching plots aimed at undermining the president’s own ability to govern. Last February, moreover, several members of the police and armed forces had been placed under house arrest, again on charges of conspiring to state security, and only some of these appear to have been exonerated to date.

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