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'.
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.
Djibouti 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.