India’s Kovind begins state visits to Djibouti, Ethiopia

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind began a state visit to Djibouti on Tuesday, his first such trip since taking office in July and the first such high-level meeting since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries. Kovind was welcomed on his arrival by Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed, before making…

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…

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…

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.