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Vol 56 No 10

Published 15th May 2015


Grandstanding Guelleh

On 6 May US Secretary of State John Kerry was the latest in a long line of foreigners worried about the region to drop in on President Omar Guelleh in Djibouti

Squeezed between isolationist Eritrea and the ferment of Somalia, Djibouti is a prime target for destabilisation. Across the Red Sea, Djibouti's traditional ally, Saudi Arabia, is leading a coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels for control of Yemen in an increasingly violent conflict that could spill into the Horn of Africa. After the US evacuated its embassy in Yemen last month, it became even more reliant on its security operations run out of Djibouti. The Pentagon's Camp Lemonnier, hard by Djibouti's airport, is the centre of US counter-terrorist operations in the region and the only US military base in Africa.

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