The United States congratulates Djibouti’s longtime strongman on re-election
WASHINGTON, USA – The United States has praised Ismail Omar Guelleh for his re-election as president of Djibouti, a small Horn of Africa nation whose election ended last week, amid ongoing political instability in the region.
Guelleh, who has been at the helm since 1999, scored a handsome majority after receiving 98 percent of the valid votes cast. This will be his fifth term, taking him into the ranks of bigwigs who have proven to be in power after taking over their respective countries.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price said the United States was looking forward to working with Ismail Omar Guelleh to advance each country’s interests. Guelleh is one of Washington’s most important allies from the Horn of Africa on development and security issues.
“The United States looks forward to working with President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s government and the people of Djibouti to advance our common interests following the election of Djibouti on April 9,” the statement read.
“We appreciate the work of the election observation missions of the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab Leagues and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development,” the spokesman added.
Djibouti hosts the US Africa Command, which is responsible for security missions on the African continent. There are over 6,000 U.S. troops in Africa, and the majority of them had worked in Somalia until their exit on January 15 this year.
The United States called on Djibouti to strengthen its internal democratic institutions, which, however, have been under the control of the international community and the opposition in the country. The opposition has often accused Guelleh of dictatorship.
“The United States calls on Djibouti’s government to further strengthen its democratic institutions and processes in line with observers’ recommendations,” Ned Price added in a statement.