May 22, 2013

Strategic Importance of Djibouti

April 21, 2013

U.S. servicemen training at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti

Chatham House published in April 2013 a briefing paper titled “Djibouti: Changing Influence in the Horn’s Strategic Hub” by David Styan, Birkbeck College, University of London.  The study emphasized the expansion of the US Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) base in Djibouti, the reconfiguration of France’s military presence and the establishment of Japanese and other military facilities there. Djibouti has become an international maritime and military laboratory where new forms of cooperation are being developed.

Djibouti has accelerated plans for regional economic integration. Building on close ties with Ethiopia, existing port upgrades and electricity grid integration will be enhanced by the development of the northern port of Tadjourah. These strategic and economic shifts have yet to be matched by internal political reforms, and growth needs to be linked to strategies for job creation and a renewal of domestic political legitimacy.

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