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05DJIBOUTI1121 2005-11-10 05:36:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI OPPOSITION RENOUNCES 2001 PEACE

Tags:   PREL PGOV SCUL PHUM PINS DJ 
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					UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 DJIBOUTI 001121 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/E;
PARIS, LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHER;

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SCUL PHUM PINS DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI OPPOSITION RENOUNCES 2001 PEACE
ACCORD



1. (U) SUMMARY: The Peace Accord (PA), signed
between the FRUD Armee and the government on
March 12th, 2001, is a growing subject of
animosity between the opposition and government.
The FRUD Armee was the breakaway faction of the
Front for Restoration of Unity and Democracy
(FRUD) that continued fighting against the
Government after the first Peace Accord was
signed with the FRUD's political leaders in 1994
to end Djibouti's civil war. The opposition
coalition Union for Democratic Alternance (UAD)
is criticizing the government for not respecting
that Accord and for ignoring its articles
pertaining to democratic reform. Press releases
by the Republican Alliance for Democracy (ARD),
the leading Afar party in the opposition
coalition, is threatening to take up arms once
again if the conditions for democratic reform set
forth in the 2001 Peace Accord are not
implemented. END SUMMARY.



2. (U) Four years and four months after the
signature of the Peace Accord in May 2001, and
one year after the death of its leader - the late
Ahmed Dini, ARD undertook a referendum among its
members September 21st to determine future
political actions by the party. During its
meetings, ARD decided to renounce the Peace
Accords, claiming unlimited violations by the
regime. This peace accord followed the signature
of the first peace treaty with the Afar rebellion
in December 1994. At that time, a breakaway
faction of FRUD headed by Ahmed Dini decided that
fighting against the Government should continue.
In February 2000, President Guelleh's Chief of
Cabinet, Ali Guelleh, and the President of FRUD
Armee, Ahmed Dini, signed the Reform and Civil
Peace Accord in Paris, ending a decade-long civil
war in Djibouti. The peace process, begun in
2000, ended with the signing of an exhaustive
accord on May 12th, 2001 presided over by
President Ismail Omar Guelleh in the presence of
the international community.



--------------------------


Peace and Security


--------------------------




3. (U) The 2001 Peace Accord is divided into four
chapters: Peace & Security, Rehabilitation &
Reconstruction, Democratic Reforms, and
Decentralization. The ethnic representation of
all communities in the defense, security and
police forces was the major issue of conflict
between the two parties during negotiations.
Prisoner exchange, cease-fire, demining, and a
dialogue were established at the opening of
negotiations. It was agreed that government
forces would return to a peace time position and
that elements of FRUD Armee would be demobilized
and integrated into defense and security corps or
reintegrated into civil society. During the civil
war, sympathizers of FRUD were fired from their
jobs. The accord stated that every civil servant
discriminated against on the basis of his or her
membership in FRUD should be reintegrated into
the workforce.




--------------------------


Rehabilitation and Reconstruction


--------------------------




4. (U) During the negotiations, a rehabilitation
program was discussed and agreed upon. The Peace
Accord stipulates the government must
rehabilitate building and road infrastructure,
water adduction and housing construction in
Yoboki and Obock. Parallel to these programs, the
Port of Obock would also be reorganized. Water
adduction to the Day region "must be finished as
soon as possible." The government completed the
water adduction in the beginning of 2004. Some
among the opposition hold that this chapter was
not given significant respect and importance by
the Government. The war zones such as Obock and
Yoboki have not seen significant development and
the movement of population that fled the war
began to return only recently. Obock is the least
developed district among the six districts of
Djibouti. ARD calls for a fair distribution of
wealth and asks the Government not to concentrate
resources solely in the capital. The Afar
opposition is mainly from Obock.



--------------------------


Democratic Reforms


--------------------------




5. (U) Among democratic reforms, the opposition
considered the Constitutional Council, installing
a multiparty system, and public and press
liberties as key engagements from the Government
to accelerate steps toward democracy. The Afar
opposition demanded the composition of the
Constitutional Council be reexamined to reflect
the cultural composition of the country. "The
FRUD-Armee will be tolerated as a political party
until the constitutional limitation of four
parties is lifted in September 2002," says the
clause on multiparty system. The two parties
agreed on respecting public and international
standards for press liberties. The local media
has been always qualified as pro-government and
that it didn't reflect the political diversity of
the national scene.



--------------------------


Decentralization


--------------------------




6. (U) The government and the FRUD-Armee agreed
on general objectives of decentralization.
Political, administrative and economical
decentralizations would reduce regional
disparities. The two sides agreed that two levels
of decentralization were needed: regional and
community. Regional governing bodies should be
created first and then communities. Five regions
were created, Ali-Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Obock and
Tadjourah. It was agreed that the capital should
have a special status. A National Commission of
Decentralization was to be created; composed of
twelve members among whom three representatives
of each party that was a signatory to the Accord.
The Commission is entitled to activate the
decentralization process, follow regional
institutions and participate in defining
legislative texts for decentralization.



7. (U) Some clauses have been respected and
implemented by the government; others have yet to
be implemented. Observers agree that articles
pertaining to security forces and the
reintegration of the FRUD-Armee members have been
implemented satisfactorily. On the other hand,
rehabilitation and war zones reconstruction
efforts achieved limited results. United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) Djibouti financed the
reconstruction of 100 houses in Obock, but the
opposition criticized the houses as providing
little livable space. The most controversial
points remain democratic reforms and
decentralization. The Peace Accord provides for
the examination of composition of the
Constitutional Council. The FRUD-Armee, which
became ARD, wanted the Constitutional Council to
be representative of all political leanings,
which the government has not guaranteed.
Regarding decentralization, the two parties
agreed to put in place first regional governing
bodies and then community governing bodies. The
Peace Accord created a National Commission for
Decentralization (NCD) composed of twelve members
among whom three representatives of each part
were signatories to the Accord. The tasks of the
NCD are to put in place decentralization, to
monitor regional institutions and to participate
in drafting of legal texts. The Peace Accord is
consolidating the "checks and balances" system
within the government. The FRUD-Armee has tried
to manage the decentralization process with the
central administration, something that the
Government never previously allowed.


8. (U) On September 24th, 2005, the ARD renounced
the Peace Accord in a press release. The
opposition party claims the government is
aggravating the original roots of the conflict by
not issuing Identity Cards equally to all
citizens, making inefficient democratic reforms,
and distorting the decentralization process in an
unacceptable way. It also criticized the
government for not applying and implementing the
articles in the Peace Accord honestly. In
response to this frustration, the opposition
coalition is likely to boycott regional elections
planned for the end of the year as it did with
Presidential election in April 2005.
RAGSDALE