US embassy cable - 04DJIBOUTI915

DJIBOUTI CELEBRATES 27 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

Identifier: 04DJIBOUTI915
Wikileaks: View 04DJIBOUTI915 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Djibouti
Created: 2004-07-02 09:15:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PREL PGOV PNAT IS IZ SU SO DJ
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 000915 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PNAT, IS, IZ, SU, SO, DJ 
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI CELEBRATES 27 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE 
 
1. (U) SUMMARY: Djibouti marked the 27th anniversary of its 
independence from France, Sunday, June 27, 2004 with 
Government hosted celebrations including a military parade 
and a reception at the Presidential Palace.  Ambassador with 
USLO attended the early morning parade, and was accompanied 
by USLO, Pol/Econ, PAO and USAID at the presidential 
reception. There, in the presence of his cabinet, parliament 
members, the former President of Djibouti, village elders and 
a host of other Djiboutian citizens and invited guests, 
President Ismael Omar Guelleh addressed the population in two 
speeches: one in French and one in Somali.  In his remarks in 
French, he spoke about measuring progress, the necessity of 
building a democratic state, his own progress as President, 
ties with the larger world, and the problems of Iraq, the 
Palestinians, Somalia and Sudan in the Near East and Horn of 
Africa region.   Guelleh's speech in Somali was impromptu and 
was not published in the newspapers or copied to the 
diplomatic community.  END SUMMARY. 
 
2. (U) President Ismael Omar Guelleh's speech in French to 
the people of Djibouti began by underlining the importance of 
progress taking time, saying "the progress of nations is not 
measured by a combination of ephemeral events, but by 
successive historic steps taken by each generation to leave 
the next with the best of its own."  Guelleh continued that 
in celebrating the day of independence, "it reminds us to ask 
ourselves if each one of us has done all that can be done for 
succeeding generations." Guelleh transitioned into the topic 
of presidential elections by speaking of next year's 
celebration being led by "the leaders chosen by the 
Djiboutian people in the next presidential election." 
 
3. (U) Guelleh commented that whoever is elected will be 
expected to build an efficient democratic state which stands 
against all forms of discrimination, continue to build a 
liberal economy to generate wealth and employment, construct 
a society of solidarity and favor a cultural renaissance in 
line with the times, respectful of the Djiboutian identity. 
 
4. (U) Guelleh was confident in assessing his performance of 
the objectives he initiated, saying "I believe that we have 
reached the objectives that constitute a reinvention of a 
modern and modest nation, conscious not to just take the 
missions that it is able to accomplish, but determined to 
assume full responsibility, with forward thinking and the 
capacity of innovation."  Guelleh continued that "the best 
sign of our commitment to independence and the most solid 
gauge of its longevity resides in the concretisation of our 
firm will to render justice to the women of Djibouti." 
Guelleh also highlighted his administration's creation of a 
Family Code of Law, which using a combination of French civil 
code and Sharia law, and replaces the use of Sharia law in 
family matters. 
 
5. (U) Guelleh's speech also addressed the widening of 
Djibouti's diplomatic circles and friendships around the 
globe.  Guelleh commented that the decision by COMESA to hold 
the next summit in Djibouti is a "mark of confidence in the 
manner of Djiboutian diplomacy over the past 27 years 
striving to make an efficient instrument of service to our 
economic ambition and to present the international scene with 
a confirmation of our will to work towards peace and harmony 
throughout, for African and Arab-Islamic unity." 
 
6. (U) Speaking on the current round of Somali peace talks in 
Nairobi, Guelleh said that after two years of negotiation, 
its final phase "fulfills the hopes that we have, in the 
course of this summer by the grace of God, for the creation 
of republican institutions under the sovereign will of the 
Somali people."  Guelleh then called for international 
support of the next Somali government saying, "no structure 
of a State can be viable if the international community does 
not cement its support by furnishing and accompanying the 
institution of the next Somali government, with the human, 
material and financial means necessary to accomplish its 
mission." 
 
7. (U) Guelleh added, however, that "by contrast, the 
Republic of Djibouti will never accept the destructive policy 
aimed at failure, which guides Mister Sharon in leading the 
Palestinian conflict.  He has anchored himself into a 
unilateral vision, excluding completely the Palestinian 
people with the firm will to install an Israeli country in 
the Palestinian territory."  He continued "Mister Sharon 
demonstrates once again his will to simply deny the existence 
of the Palestinian people.  We remain convinced that, with 
this arrangement, there cannot be peace in the framework 
negotiated for the existence of two nations within viable 
territories." 
 
8. (U) Guelleh closed his speech by applauding the signing of 
the Sudan peace accords, congratulating the United Nations 
for their efforts to "help the Iraqi people in their pursuit 
of peace and security,"  He stated: "We remain convinced that 
the process of returning the leadership of their own destiny 
to the hands of the Iraqi people by way of a provisional 
council constitutes the wisest road for the return of peace 
and security to the hearts and spirits of our Iraqi brethren, 
and we will continue to support all engagements carried out 
to safeguard the unity, the sovereignty of the Iraqi people 
and the integrity of Iraq." 
 
9. (U) Broad press coverage in "La Nation" newspaper was 
given to President Bush's message of congratulations on the 
occasion of Djibouti's national day. 
RAGSDALE 

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