On the evening of June 25, 2023 (Sunday), clashes erupted between supporters and opponents of the Djiboutian regime at De Brouckère Square in Brussels (Belgium). Following these clashes, the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police carried out two judicial arrests. The incident was triggered by an embassy-organized celebration of the country’s independence at a casino that attracted opposition activists who came to protest the event.
According to Hassan Abdillahi Robleh, President of the Youth Movement of the Opposition (MJO Europe), tensions were high, and an altercation occurred during the demonstration. The police intervened at around 10 PM to separate the two groups. The MJO Europe reported that one person was hospitalized.
Hassan Abdillahi Robleh explains how all opposition activists are united against the current regime in Djibouti led by Ismaïl Omar Guelleh since 1999, and his five terms in office have been marked by authoritarian rule.
As evident from the image below, Ilyas Issa Boulaleh, commonly referred to as one of the “muscle men,” representing the Djiboutian Ambassador in Belgium, initiated the altercation by launching an attack on a small group of opposition members. He eventually proceeded to slap the mobile phone out of the activist Saad Houssein Robleh’s hand.
As a result of the confrontation, Ilyas Issa Boulaleh was knocked out as depicted in the picture on the right. (He is seen sitting on the floor and surrounded by the Belgian police). The activist, who acted in self-defense, was fully justified.