Despite significant levels of elite and popular support for the FRUD within Djibouti, it is also clear that at least a portion (exact figures are unobtainable) of the roughly 3,000 guerrillas come from Afar-inhabited territories of both Ethiopia and the provisional government of Eritrea.
26) Sporadic tension between the goals of Afar leaderships in Ethiopia and Djibouti has been fueled by the fact that many of the FRUD leadership perceive the ALF as constituting a largely backward, traditionalist, and illiterate organization led by corrupt, self-serving politicians, such as Sultan Ali Mirah, the ALF leader who originally was placed in power by Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie.
Other regional actors are also unlikely proponents of a FRUD military victory.
In the early stages of the FRUD offensive, French officials strongly tied to the Parti Socialist, such as Ministre Delegue des Affaires Etrangeres Alain Vivien, emphasized that French military forces would not become involved in what was perceived in Paris as an internal conflict between the Gouled government and the Afar opposition.
Initially unwilling to heed French overtures and compromise with the FRUD opposition, the Gouled regime instead sought to bolster the Djiboutian Armed Forces and achieve a military victory by reportedly recruiting trained guerrilla fighters among the Issa populations residing in Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as some former Isaak fighters from the SNM.
34) He subsequently formed a political organization, the Mouvement pour la Paix et la Reconciliation (MPR), that rejected the militancy of both the Gouled regime and the FRUD, and sought instead to build a trans-ethnic opposition coalition.
In response to a FRUD declaration on 28 February 1992, which established a unilateral cease-fire and underscored a commitment to French mediation, for example, the Gouled regime the very next day released from detention Dr.
Among those organizations which participated in the June meeting were the FRUD as led by former Prime Minister Ahmed Dini; the trans-ethnic MRP as led by Elabe, one of the strongest Issa contenders for future presidential elections; the Union Democratique Djiboutienne (UDD), a Gadaboursi movement represented by Mohamed Moussa Ainache; the Mouvement National Djiboutien (MND), an Isaak organization represented by Sallam Mahmoud; the Front des Forces Democratiques (FFD), an Issa-based grouping represented by Omar Elmi Kaireh; the largely Arab-based Mouvement pour le Salut et la Reconstruction (MSR) headed by Galal Abdourahman; and the Djiboutian human rights organization, Association pour la Defense des Droits de I'Homme et de la Liberte (ADDHL).
42) As a result of these concerns, approximately 50 per cent of Djibouti's voting-age population heeded the demands of the FRUD, the FUOD, and the legislative opposition, and boycotted the referendum.
Like the September referendum, the legitimacy of the December legislative elections was significantly questioned by the refusal of the FRUD to take part in the election process, a decision which was accompanied by the intensification of fighting with the Djiboutian Armed Forces.