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In a video broadcast this Saturday evening, March 27, the leader of the Somali radical Islamists Shebabs called for " <em>American and French interests</em> »In Djibouti. </p><div> <p>The appeal was launched within two weeks of <strong>the presidential election in Djibouti</strong>. In a video released on Saturday evening, the head of the Somali Shebabs Abu Obaida Ahmad Omar attacks President Ismaël Omar Guelleh, in power since 1999 and who is seeking a fifth term, which he is sure to win, in the 9 April.
Ismaël Omar Guelleh has “ transformed Djibouti into a military base from where every war against Muslims in East Africa is planned and executed “, He asserts, calling on Muslims in the country to” make American and French interests in Djibouti the top priority of [leurs] targets ».
Many foreign military bases
Due to its unique geographical position on the borders of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, facing the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti is home to many foreign military bases.
This former French colony hosts the largest French contingent in Africa (around 1,500 soldiers). There is also the only permanent American base in Africa (4,000 soldiers), from which anti-terrorism operations are launched, particularly in Somalia. Japan and Italy are also present there, as well as China, which opened a military base and a port there in 2017. Djibouti is also providing a contingent to the African Union force in Somalia (Amisom), which is fighting the shebabs there.
► Also to listen: The Chinese base in Djibouti is “a strategic platform”
In May 2014, a suicide squad had attacked a restaurant prized by foreigners in Djibouti, causing one dead, one Turk, and at least twenty wounded, including seven French, four Germans, three Spaniards and six Dutch. In their demand, the Shebabs explained that they had attacked a ” restaurant frequented mainly by French Crusaders and their NATO allies ».
Source site www.rfi.fr