IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 1, January 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Alemu Leta (MA), Yemane Zeray (MA), Yohannes Haile (MA)
Ethnicity as a major springboard of identity politics has significantly affected the Republic of Djibouti since 1960s as Colonial rule, the Cold War and regional politics contributed to widen the rift of ethnic cleavage between Afar and Issa. The mobilization of Afars, the minority one, in the early 1990s faced with a heavy handed repression of the Issa dominated government which makes even the power sharing peace negotiation of 1993 less satisfactory. The power sharing scheme of the government was considered as a political contrivance of coopting Afar political figures for dumping the just claim of Afars which is so deep , and the conflict went on. This had exerted pressure on the government to make constitutional concessions of recognizing the plurality of Djibouti. However, from the perspective of accommodation an ethnic demand which has sustained for long, the constitutional and political adjustments are less adequate. The republican principles of the constitution which pushes aside group rights for ethnic groups leaves the plurality reading of the constitution limited to recognition. The constitution have not provide for structures of home-rule for the Afar ethnic group as the inadequacy of power sharing made before provide a reasonable expectation to move on the direction of territorial autonomy. Decentralization as a usual convenient model of meeting ethno-territorial self-rule while retaining the territorial integrity of a state has gotten a limited application in the Djiboutian Constitution. Nevertheless, the possible pathologies of a dyadic form of federal system needs to be assessed as to its workability in the case in point since it may render a bipolarized state with characterized with a deadlock political system. Moreover, the issue of democratic credibility has also exacerbated the mutual suspension between Afars and Issas.