In a video broadcast this Saturday night, March 27, the leader of Somali radical Islamists called on the Shebabs to strike “American and French interests” in Djibouti.
The appeal was lodged within two weeks the presidential election in Djibouti. In a video released on Saturday night, Somali Sheba’s chief Abu Obaida Ahmad Omar attacks President Ismaël Omar Guelleh, in power since 1999, seeking a fifth term, which he is likely to win, in the April 9 vote.
Ismaël Omar Guelleh “transformed Djibouti into a military base from which every war against Muslims in East Africa is planned and carried out,” he said, urging the country’s Muslims to “make American interests and French in Djibouti a top priority. [leurs] goal “.
Many foreign military bases
Djibouti is home to many foreign military bases due to its unique geographical location on the borders of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, which faces the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden.
This former French colony hosts the largest French contingent in Africa (about 1,500 soldiers). It is also the only permanent US base in Africa (4,000 troops), from which counter-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 also provides a contingent to the African Union force in Somalia (Amisom), which is fighting the shebabs there.
In May 2014, a the suicide group had attacked a restaurant estimated by foreigners in Djibouti, causing a death, a Turk and at least twenty wounded, including seven French, four Germans, three Spaniards and six Dutch. In their demands, the Shebabs declared that they had attacked a “restaurant frequented mainly by French crusaders and their NATO allies”.