Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Secrets of Stability in Djibouti | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Republic of Djibouti President Omar Guelleh addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Djibouti- Ethnic and cultural diversity is a secret component of stability in Djibouti.

This does not come from nowhere, there is actually a long history of integration between African and Arab tribes that shared the many tragedies that hit Djibouti throughout the past hundred years. One of these periods is when they used to work hard in salt mines and railways construction for the benefit of the European mandate.

This period of time remains unforgettable for those of Yemeni, Ethiopian and Somali origins.

Despite the scarcity of water, poverty and gap between the rich and poor, some development plans are being implemented and the sponsorship provided by the country for the limited-income workers has increased, also refugees are being welcomed.

These factors helped in creating an atmosphere of peace and coexistence – in most streets, you can listen to phrases welcoming strangers and visitors with various languages.

There was also a long history of struggle for the sake of determining borders of a stable and independent state.

Even when Djibouti was liberated from the French occupation, people were hesitant it would be able to live in peace, not even for six months.

Although residents of Djibouti seem simple, whether officials, businessmen or even normal citizens, starting rumors is not allowed. Iran, for example, came here twenty years ago and tried to create the same experience of Yemeni people today.

An official says, “The problem of Iran is that it used religion to achieve personal interests… We are Muslims and we don’t need to be taught Islam. In Djibouti, we were aware since the beginning of the Iranian plans.”

In addition to diversity, the continuous development process carried out by the state and the people as well can be added to the secrets of the stability in Djibouti.