Djibouti Foreign Troops

Around the size of Massachusetts and with a population of under 800,000, Djibouti would have been at risk from its much larger and stronger neighbours such as Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea if it hadn't been able to look abroad for help with its security, in particular, France who held it as a territory prior to independence in 1977. Despite this, Djibouti still faces difficulties ensuring the integrity of its own borders, as was demonstrated in the Djibouti - Eritrea border war of 2008.

Fortunately Djibouti has a strategic location on the Horn of Africa making it an ideal base for foreign troops with easy access to Somalia, Yemen and other Arab states.

As such the country was France's largest foreign military base with several thousand troops there including the 13e Démi-Brigade de la Légion Étrangère until June 2011 when it was permanently redeployed to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and the USA also has troops in the country, using it as a base to track down al-Qaeda terrorists in nearby Yemen as part of its so called 'War on Terror'.

In fact Djibouti hosts the only US military base in sub-Saharan Africa, Camp Lemonnier, (below) with some 3500 troops; the former barracks of the French Foreign Legion.

Today it is home to the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) of the United States Africa Command and is used for humanitarian, and counter-terrorism efforts in the region. It is based at Djibouti-Ambouli International Airport, which also serves as a civilian airport.

Camp LemonnierDjibouti also serves as the headquarters for the European Union’s “Atalanta” naval task force which protects ships heading towards Somalia carrying aid for the African Union Mission and World Food Programme.

It also hosts other foreign troops which can be deployed to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia and are scheduled to be there until 2022.

The French 5th Overseas Interarm Regiment (5e RIAOM) also has a presence having had troops in Djibouti since 1st November 1969.

This video explores the history and current deployment of foreign troops in Djibouti and their role in maintaining some peace in the Horn of Africa.


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Djibouti Foreign Troops

Djibouti Foreign Troops

Djibouti Foreign Troops

Djibouti Foreign Troops


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Djibouti Foreign Troops

Djibouti Foreign Troops

Exploring the deployment of foreign troops in Djibouti both for internal security and as part of the so called War on Terror together with a foreign troops in Djibouti video documentary.


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