Djibouti: Protesters beaten and hit with tear gas

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The Independent Online

Authorities used batons and tear gas against thousands of protesters in the tiny nation of Djibouti yesterday, the latest in a series of rallies modelled after demonstrations across Africa and the Middle East.

About 6,000 people turned out at the demonstration, but only about 3,000 remained by the time authorities showed up, according to Democracy International.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh has served two terms and faces an election in April, but critics lament changes he made to the constitution last year that scrubbed a two-term limit from the nation's laws. His family has been in power for more than three decades and the rally was aimed at getting him to step down.

Djibouti hosts several military bases, including the only American base in Africa.