Djibouti increases reliance on Beijing, but at what cost?

Djibouti increases reliance on Beijing, but at what cost?

The long-time president of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, has launched his re-election campaign in the run-up to national elections on 9 April. With the exception of Zakaria Ismael Jafar, an “anti-system” independent candidate, Guelleh is set to run for his fifth term unopposed. His challengers in the 2016 election have…

In Djibouti, opposition protests met with force

Opposition leaders in Djibouti are condemning the “scorched earth” policies of President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh and his regime, following a second day of street protests on the outskirts of the capital. Adan Mohamed Abdou, president of the USN alliance covering four opposition groups, said the protests in Arhiba followed the…

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…

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.