China opens new Djibouti military base

China opens new Djibouti military base

China has formally opened its new military base in Djibouti, with a national flag ceremony and a military parade held at the barracks near the port city of Obock. The ceremony marked the arrival of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops at the base, following a journey that began July 11…

François Hollande’s Legacy in Africa

In recent history, few world leaders have been as unpopular as France’s François Hollande. Rising unemployment, tabloid scandals, unpopular legal reforms, and a faltering economy have all led the President to confirm that he won’t stand for re-election in 2017. While Hollande’s presidency has been ridiculed in France, his legacy…

Arnaud Gallet

Arnaud is a French freelance writer with an African heart who has lived in 10 different Sub-Saharan countries in the past decade. He is currently based in Paris.

Djibouti overwhelmed by migrants from Yemen

Deported migrants arriving from Yemen are swelling the population of Djibouti camps, as officials with the International Organization for Migration warn that 3,000 more may arrive in the next few days. Djibouti has become “the epicenter,” says IOM official Jeffrey Labovitz, for complicated flows of migrant crossings over the Red…

Djibouti-Ethiopia rail runs set for October start

Test runs of the new railway linking Addis Ababa and Djibouti may come as early as next week, now that the $345 million project, funded primarily by China, is near completion. Officials with Ethiopian Railway Corporation say trial service will run for three to six months on the line, beginning…

A Tale of Two Elections: Chad and Djibouti

Within the span of just a few days, two long-serving African leaders will go to the polls in search of new electoral mandates. As part of the “Super Sunday” of African elections in 2016, Djiboutian strongman Ismail Omar Guelleh will stand for re-election on April 8 while Idriss Déby Itno…

Arnaud Gallet

Arnaud is a French freelance writer with an African heart who has lived in 10 different Sub-Saharan countries in the past decade. He is currently based in Paris.

Djibouti’s three-way tango with China and the U.S.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Djibouti’s authoritarian President Ismail Omar Guelleh confirmed a long-rumored Chinese naval base in the tiny East African nation would, in fact, soon be a reality. Military planners and political leaders in the United States, who are heavily reliant on Djibouti’s bases and installations, have…

Michael Wilcox

I am a London-based researcher specialized in security issues and environmental protection. He is currently writing a book about the role lobbying plays in keeping African leaders in power.

Saudi Arabia’s winning war for hearts and minds in Africa

The aftershock caused by the execution of the outspoken Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, by the Saudi government earlier this month continues to reverberate as a host of Muslim majority countries have announced they are cutting diplomatic ties with Iran. Sudan, Djibouti, and Somalia have joined the Gulf nations of Bahrain…

Sam Maloof

Sam is a major in international relations, currently based in Cairo

Why Africa has been roped into the Saudi-Iran crisis

  Since Saudi Arabia took the decision on Saturday to execute a prominent Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and Iranians attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, tension between the two countries has escalated drawing in allies. Saudi Arabia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country whereas Iran is Shiite which has…

Will China’s naval base cause friction with the US?

Djibouti’s recent decision to host a Chinese naval facility caught many Western analysts flat-footed, showing how difficult it can be to predict the behaviour of wily autocratic regimes like that of President Ismail Omar Guelleh – or, for that matter, the government in Beijing.  China chose this small country on…

Dr. Andrew Gawthorpe

Andrew is a Research Fellow in the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he specializes in international security.

What does China’s new naval base mean for Djibouti?

Meeting on the sidelines of the China-Africa Cooperation Summit (FOCAC) held last week in Johannesburg, South Africa, Djibouti’s President, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, and China’s Xi Jinping underlined their continued cooperation, stressing that the two states would strengthen mutual political trust and economic partnerships. This recently developed bond was all the more emphasized with…