AU warns negative impact of foreign military bases in Djibouti

Hiiraan Xog, The presence of foreign military bases in the Horn of Africa will have an impact on the security and the stability of the continent, African Union warned,

Thousands of foreign troops from Europe and China have military bases in Djibouti which lies on one of the main routes linking the continent other parts of the world.

According to The Zimbabwean, a newspaper in Zimbabwe, Major General Trust Magoba – who now serves as a special advisor to the African Union office for Peace and Security – has raised concern at foreign interference on the continent.

“The establishment foreign bases and the involvement of external forces in the conflicts on the Horn of Africa is a worrisome development,” he said. And he called on all countries to focus on “peace, security, and stability within the region”.

General Magoba was referring to land adjoining a narrow strait that runs past Djibouti on the only route between the Indian Ocean and Suez, where the US, France, and China have stationed their military.

Djibouti is small and hugely in debt to Beijing. And the rule of president Ismaïl Guelleh is frequently under attack from human-rights groups who allege torture and a lack of democracy.

Exports from Australia, India, Zimbabwe and much of East Africa sail through here to Europe along with more than 14m barrels a day of oil from the Persian Gulf.

Djibouti is host to the only permanent US military base in Africa and the largest post of the French Foreign Legion along with small units from Russia, Japan, and Italy. But China has built its own barracks to house more troops than the joint strength of all other players.

Djibouti’s value for ships lies in a state-of-the-art container dock, but earlier this year President Guelleh signed a decree ousting Dubai-firm DP World from a 50-year contract to manage the port.



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