Minds of the Movement

An ICNC blog on the people and power of civil resistance

Abdourahman Mohamed Guelleh, “TX”

Abdourahman Mohamed Guelleh, also known as "TX," is a major opposition figure in Djibouti. Formerly the mayor of the city of Djibouti, he leads the opposition party, Rassemblement pour l’action, la démocratie et le développement écologique (Rally for action, democracy and ecological development). In 2019, his passport was finally released to him and he was allowed to leave Djibouti to join his family, who had fled to Belgium three years prior. His wife having left Djibouti while pregnant, Abdourahman only met his youngest upon arrival in Belgium, when the child was already a toddler. He is an outspoken advocate of nonviolent action, having become self-taught in the subject through online research, notably thanks to ICNC's and other organizations' resources.

Writings from Abdourahman Mohamed Guelleh, “TX”

Articles

Interviews & People

Comment devenir autodidacte de la résistance civile dans un contexte répressif et avec peu de ressources

Abdourahman s’est lancé dans l’auto-apprentissage de la stratégie de l’action non violente dans un contexte très répressif. Il sortait de quatre mois de prison pour avoir participé à une réunion de crise de la coalition d’opposition. Simplement en tapant le terme « comment vaincre une dictature sans violence » dans un moteur de recherche, il a découvert quelques livres clés sur la résistance non violente, traduits en français et mis à disposition gratuitement sur les sites de CANVAS, d’ICNC, et d’autres organisations engagées dans l’éducation sur ce sujet. […]

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Interviews & People

How to Become Self-Taught in Civil Resistance in a Repressive Context and with Few Resources

Abdourahman embarked on self-study of the strategy of nonviolent action in a repressive climate. He had just served four years in prison for participating in an opposition coalition meeting for which he was serving as secretary general at the time. Simply by typing “how to bring down a dictatorship without violence” into a search engine, he discovered some key texts on nonviolent resistance that had been translated into French and made available free of charge on the websites of CANVAS, ICNC, and other educational organizations. […]

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Movement Commentary

Une banderole dans un cercueil : La lutte nonviolente contre l’autoritarisme à Djibouti

“Dans notre culture, le passage d’un cercueil en ville, à pied ou à véhicule, est toujours synonyme d’une immobilisation des passants à piétons et de véhicules en circulation qui doivent absolument observer un moment de silence et des prières à la mémoire des personnes décédées et transportées en cercueil. Ce qui était le cas pour notre cercueil. Face à des gens immobilisés et assez nombreux le long de la rue, nos activistes déposent « le corps sans vie » et disparaissent dans la nature comme un éclair. La rue est en émoi ! Du jamais vu ! Est-ce un crime ? Pourquoi aurait-on déposé le cercueil et la personne décédée en plein milieu de la rue ? […]”

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Movement Commentary

A Banner in a Coffin: Djibouti’s Nonviolent Struggle against Authoritarianism

In our culture, when a coffin is carried down the street, pedestrians and vehicles must come to a halt to observe a moment of silence in memory of the deceased being carried. In this case, it was our coffin. In the middle of a large, motionless crowd, our activists laid down the coffin and then dispersed in a flash. The street erupted in turmoil! No one had never seen anything like it before! Had a crime been committed? Why would a coffin be placed in the middle of the street? All of these questions aroused emotion, confusion and commotion at the scene of action. […]

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