Aden Robleh Awaleh

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Aden Robleh Awaleh (born 1941-31 October 2014[1]) is a Djiboutian politician and President of the National Democratic Party (PND).[2] He is currently a member of the National Assembly of Djibouti.

Awaleh, an Issa,[3] was born in Ali-Sabieh. Opposing French colonial rule in Djibouti, he went to Somalia in 1969 and became the leader of the Front for the Liberation of the Somali Coast (FLCS). As a result of his activities, he was convicted of "endangering state security" in absentia by the French authorities in 1970 and sentenced to 27 years in prison. He was later arrested in Somalia in 1975 for "anti-revolutionary" activities and spent a year in solitary confinement there. He was attacked and injured on June 24, 1977, three days before Djibouti became independent from France; his injuries caused him to be hospitalized for a year.[1]

In the period following independence, he was a member of the government, Vice-President of the Popular Rally for Progress (RPR) ruling party,[2] and a member of the RPR Political Bureau.[1] He was included in the first post-independence government, named on July 15, 1977, as Minister of the Port,[4] and he was subsequently moved to the position of Minister of Commerce, Transport, and Tourism in 1978.[5] He was also elected to the National Assembly in 1982.[6] In 1983, he denounced the authoritarianism of the RPR's single-party regime and resigned from his government and party positions.[1]

A book written by Awaleh, Djibouti: Key to the Red Sea (Djibouti Clef de la Mer Rouge), was published in February 1986. He clandestinely left Djibouti in May 1986 and went into exile in France.[1] As an exiled opposition leader,[1][2] he founded the Djiboutian National Movement for the Establishment of Democracy and the Union of Democratic Movements while in France.[1] In Djibouti, he was accused of "attempting to destabilize the government and murder senior officials" and was sentenced in absentia to life in prison on September 7, 1986, along with two others.[7]

In 1992, Awaleh founded the National Democratic Party (PND) in Paris.[8] Immediately after a successful referendum was held on the introduction of multiparty politics, Awaleh announced on September 7, 1992 that he intended to return to Djibouti within days and would seek the legalization of his National Democratic Party (PND).[9] The PND was then established in Djibouti on September 13, 1992.[10] He received 12% of the vote in the May 1993 presidential election, placing third;[2] along with the other opposition candidates, he denounced the election as fraudulent.[11]

On October 27, 1995, a PND protest was broken up by the police and Awaleh was among those arrested.[12] Accused of organizing an illegal protest, he received a suspended sentence of one month imprisonment in November 1995.[2] At this time, he was the head of an opposition coalition, the Union of Democratic Movements.[13] He stood as the first candidate on the PND's candidate list for Ali Sabieh Region (the only district in which the party presented candidates) in the December 1997 parliamentary election,[14] but the party did not win any seats.[2]

The PND experienced internal division in the late 1990s. In May 1997, Awaleh suspended PND spokesman Farah Ali Wabert from the party, a move that reportedly exacerbated the situation. By November 1998, a rival leadership under Mahdi Ahmed Abdillahié controlled the PND headquarters, and in December 1998 Awaleh was reported to be missing.[8] The factions apparently reconciled by 2002.[15]

In September 1998, Awaleh accused Ismail Omar Guelleh of working to make Djibouti a colony of Ethiopia. Awaleh and the PND supported opposition candidate Moussa Ahmed Idriss in the April 1999 presidential election; Guelleh officially won the election with 75% of the vote, but Awaleh alleged that this was due to "massive fraud" and said that Idris had actually won.[16] During the election, he served on the district supervision commission in Ali-Sabieh District as Idris' representative.[17] Awaleh was denied a passport on June 5, 2000, preventing him from travelling to Nigeria for an African Leadership Forum.[18] In April 2001, Awaleh was convicted and given a six-year suspended sentence for alleged involvement in a terrorist attack at the Cafe du Paris in Djibouti in 1990; although prosecutors said that Awaleh was the leading figure in the plot, he was given the lightest sentence of the four defendants.[19]

Awaleh and the PND left the opposition and participated in the January 2003 parliamentary election as part of the ruling coalition, the Union for a Presidential Majority (UMP), which won all the seats in the National Assembly.[2][20] Awaleh was included as the seventh candidate on the UMP's candidate list for the District of Djibouti[21] and therefore won a seat.[22]

On March 10, 2004, Awaleh was chosen by the National Assembly as one of Djibouti's five members of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP);[23][24] as a result, he was present for the opening of the PAP later in the month, and he was elected as a member of the Pan-African Parliament's ad hoc committee responsible for verification of powers.[25] In the National Assembly of Djibouti, he has served as a member of the Legislation and General Administration Commission.[26]

Awaleh and the PND supported Guelleh in the April 2005 presidential election.[27][28] On February 21, 2007, Awaleh was re-elected as President of the PND.[29] He was a member of the general staff of the UMP's campaign for the February 2008 parliamentary election.[30] In the same election, he was the fourth candidate on the UMP's candidate list for the District of Djibouti.[31] He was re-elected to a seat, and after the election, he was designated as the representative of the National Assembly in the Pan-African Parliament on 25 February 2008.[32]

Awaleh and the PND split from the ruling coalition in 2010 after Guelleh pushed through constitutional changes allowing him to run for a third term. The party re-joined the opposition and boycotted of the 2011 election.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Biographical page at PND website at the Wayback Machine (archived August 14, 2003) (French).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, pages 180–181.
  3. ^ "Chronology for Afars in Djibouti", Minorities at Risk Project (UNHCR Refworld), 2004.
  4. ^ "Décret n°77-010/PR portant nomination des ministres de la République de Djibouti.", Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, July 15, 1977 (French).
  5. ^ "Nov 1978 - Cabinet Reorganization under New Prime Minister", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume XXIV, November, 1978 Djibouti, Page 29308.
  6. ^ "Short CV at National Assembly website". Archived from the original on 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2005-12-02.  (French).
  7. ^ "Jun 1987 - Internal and foreign policy developments", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 33, June, 1987 Djibouti, Page 35180.
  8. ^ a b "Djibouti: Political opposition parties (This Response replaces an earlier version dated 13 January 1999. Archived May 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (UNHCR Refworld), DJI31018.FE, 1 February 1999.
  9. ^ "Djibouti : 96,63 % de « oui » au référendum constitutionnel"[permanent dead link], Les Echos, September 8, 1992, n° 16218, page D (French).
  10. ^ "Discours de M. ADEN ROBLEH AWALEH, Président du PND" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 26, 2003), PND website, September 13, 1995 (French).
  11. ^ "May 1993 - Presidential elections", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 39, May, 1993 Djibouti, Page 39451.
  12. ^ "Une manifestation de l'opposition dispersée par la police à Djibouti" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 26, 2003), AFP (PND website, 2003 archive), 27 October 1995 (French).
  13. ^ "Nov 1995 - Untitled", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 41, November, 1995 Djibouti, Page 40813.
  14. ^ "Décret n°97-0175/PRE abrogeant et remplaçant le décret n°97-0170/PRE portant publication des listes de candidats et ouverture de la campagne électorale pour les élections législatives du 19 décembre 1997." Archived May 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, December 16, 1997 (French).
  15. ^ "Deux nouveaux partis politiques à l’approche des législatives 2003", Afrique Express, N°259, November 29, 2002 (French).
  16. ^ Marc Perelman, "Aden Robleh Awaleh"[permanent dead link] (interview),, May 31, 1999 (French).
  17. ^ "Décret n°99-0037/PR/MID portant création des commissions de supervision pour les élections présidentielles du 09 avril 1999." Archived August 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, March 24, 1999 (French).
  18. ^ "Djibouti: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2000", US Department of State, February 23, 2001.
  19. ^ "Four sentenced for Djibouti cafe blast", BBC News, April 9, 2001.
  20. ^ "President's backers win Djibouti poll", BBC News, January 11, 2003.
  21. ^ "Décret n°2002-0261/PR/MID Portant publication des listes des candidats en vue des élections législatives du vendredi 10 janvier 2003." Archived June 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, December 25, 2002 (French).
  22. ^ "Liste des 65 députés de la 5ème Législature (2003-2008)" Archived January 20, 2005, at the Wayback Machine., ADI, 21 January 2003 (French).
  23. ^ "Tenue d'une session extraordinaire de l'Assemblée Nationale", ADI, 10 March 2004 (French).
  24. ^ "Trois projets de lois adoptés en session extraordinaire", La Nation, March 11, 2004 (French).
  25. ^ "Le Parlement Panafricain sur les rails"[permanent dead link], La Nation, March 25, 2004 (French).
  26. ^ Page on parliamentary commissions at National Assembly website (French).
  27. ^ "Le RPP plébiscite son candidat", La Nation, October 11, 2004 (French).
  28. ^ "UMP : quatre partis, un candidat", La Nation, February 7, 2005 (French).
  29. ^ "Aden Robleh réélu à la tête du PND"[permanent dead link], La Nation, February 22, 2007 (French).
  30. ^ "Le rendez-vous d'Ali-Sabieh"[permanent dead link], La Nation, January 31, 2008 (French).
  31. ^ "Liste des 65 candidats de l’UMP pour les législatives de février 2008", ADI, 22 January 2008 (French).
  32. ^ "Désignation des présidents des Commissions de l’Assemblée Nationale", ADI, 25 February 2008 (French).