On Monday, May 14, a group of youths protested in Tadjourah over perceived clientelism in the hiring process for jobs created by the recent construction of a port in the city. The protesters notably blocked roads, set a building on fire, and ransacked the Regional Council building. Demonstrators also clashed with police, leaving at least two people wounded; police arrested around 80 people in the incident, with most being released shortly thereafter. The number of protesters still in custody (if any) was unclear as of Wednesday, May 16. Additional related protests are possible in Djibouti in the coming days and weeks; heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are expected around any further potential protests.
Opposition politicians have cited nepotism as a source of unfairness in hiring processes in Djibouti. Youth unemployment in Djibouti remained around 11.7 percent in 2017, slightly up from previous years, according to the World Bank.
Individuals in Djibouti are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.