Djibouti: Africom Again Secured USA-Africa military base in Djibouti

Djibouti  (HAN) May 5, 2014 – HAN & Geeska Afrika Online reporter in Washington, has sent this report: US President Barack Obama meets with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The US President praised President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti for his cooperation on security matters in Africa, particularly in neighboring Somalia (Included Somaliland).

Because of this meeting, the United States secured long term access  again to a military base in Djibouti that it uses to launch counter-terrorism missions, including drone strikes, in Yemen and the Horn of African countries of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South-Sudan operations. The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered in Djibouti.

US President Barack Obama and his Djibouti counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh announced the renewed “long term lease” on Camp Lemonnier to reporters as they met at the White House.

“Camp Lemonnier is extraordinarily important to our work throughout the Horn of Africa but also throughout the region. We very much appreciate the hospitality that Djiboutians provide,” Obama said.

“Overall, this is a critical facility that we maintain in Djibouti, we could not do it without the president’s cooperation, we’re grateful for him agreeing for a long term presence there,” he added.

Guelleh said his East African country and the United States were linked in a “strategic partnership” to deal with “the fight against terrorism, piracy and human trafficking in our region.”

The US garrison uses Lemonnier, a base for around 4,000 US and allied personnel, as a crucial staging area for assaults on suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen and Shebab forces in Somalia.

Washington recently agreed to move its drone base in Djibouti from Lemonnier, which is near the country’s international airport, to a more remote location, following concerns over possible collisions between the unmanned planes and commercial aircraft.

 

Official Remarks of President Braka Obama: I want to welcome President Guelleh and his delegation here in the White House today.

I had an opportunity to visit Djibouti when I was a senator, before I was elected President, and saw firsthand the importance of U.S. cooperation with Djibouti. Obviously, Camp Lemonnier is extraordinarily important not only to our work throughout the Horn of Africa but throughout the region. And we very much appreciate the hospitality that the Djiboutians provide, but we also are very appreciative of the opportunity to meet with the President here today and to deepen this relationship further.

Today well be discussing a wide range of issues. In addition to our security cooperation, were deeply interested in working with the President around development and issues of being able to expand education and health care work that were already doing with the government of Djibouti. Were extremely interested in regional issues and we want to say how much we appreciate the work that Djibouti has done through AMISOM in Somalia, an area where there have been continuing growing threats not only to the Somali people but al-Shabaab obviously has carried out operations throughout East Africa and theres a significant presence of soldiers from Djibouti who are participating in the multinational force that has been able to push back al-Shabaabs control over large portions of Somalia.

Today, in addition to announcing the long-term lease that we are signing with Djibouti, we also hope that we can discuss the Africa Leaders Summit that Ill be hosting this year. We appreciate the Presidents participating and were going to be looking at his advice on a range of issues that we can work on together. And were going to continue to engage with the government of Djibouti around issues related to human rights in the region. Human trafficking continues to be a concern. There is an action plan that the government of Djibouti has put in place and we want to find ways in which we can assist in implementing.

So, overall, this is a critical facility that we maintain in Djibouti. We could not do it without the Presidents cooperation. Were grateful for him agreeing for a long-term presence there. We look forward to deepening cooperation that benefits the people of Djibouti as well as the people of the United States of America.

Welcome. Thank you.

Official Remarks of Presiden Ismail Omar Geulleh of Djbouti:  Mr. President, thank you very much. Im very happy to be in Washington, D.C., today, and I thank you for the warm welcome that you have extended to me and my delegation.

Id very much like to achieve reinforced relations between Djibouti and the United States. And I would like to thank President Obama. And I would like to thank President Obama once more for having shown such a willingness to receive us here. As the President of Djibouti, I also would like to say that our relation is a relation of strategic partnership. And I not only thank the President for that, but also for everything the President is doing — his cooperation in terms of development, our political develop — our development policy. And Djibouti is very much helped by the President in terms of, as he said himself, health care education — and especially, in our case, food security. And I think that whats important here is that the President has a vision. He has a vision for the development of Africa and in general, and for our region in particular. And I thank you for that vision, Mr. President.

The fact that we welcome the U.S. forces in our country show our support for international peace and for peace in our region as well. As you know, Djibouti is not only taking part in AMISOM, but we are also present in Darfur, Cte dIvoire, Western Sahara, and soon enough in the Central African Republic. We do that all for peace in the world and for peace in Africa. So I am very happy to be here today to continue to reinforce our partnership and our relationship.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody.


 

PRESIDENT Braka Obama: I want to welcome President Guelleh and his delegation here today.

I had an opportunity to visit Djibouti when I was a senator, before I was elected President, and saw firsthand the importance of U.S. cooperation with Djibouti. Obviously, Camp Lemonnier is extraordinarily important not only to our work throughout the Horn of Africa but throughout the region. And we very much appreciate the hospitality that the Djiboutians provide, but we also are very appreciative of the opportunity to meet with the President here today and to deepen this relationship further.

Today well be discussing a wide range of issues. In addition to our security cooperation, were deeply interested in working with the President around development and issues of being able to expand education and health care work that were already doing with the government of Djibouti. Were extremely interested in regional issues and we want to say how much we appreciate the work that Djibouti has done through AMISOM in Somalia, an area where there have been continuing growing threats not only to the Somali people but al-Shabaab obviously has carried out operations throughout East Africa and theres a significant presence of soldiers from Djibouti who are participating in the multinational force that has been able to push back al-Shabaabs control over large portions of Somalia.

Today, in addition to announcing the long-term lease that we are signing with Djibouti, we also hope that we can discuss the Africa Leaders Summit that Ill be hosting this year. We appreciate the Presidents participating and were going to be looking at his advice on a range of issues that we can work on together. And were going to continue to engage with the government of Djibouti around issues related to human rights in the region. Human trafficking continues to be a concern. There is an action plan that the government of Djibouti has put in place and we want to find ways in which we can assist in implementing.

So, overall, this is a critical facility that we maintain in Djibouti. We could not do it without the Presidents cooperation. Were grateful for him agreeing for a long-term presence there. We look forward to deepening cooperation that benefits the people of Djibouti as well as the people of the United States of America.

Welcome. Thank you.


PRESIDENT Ismail Omar Guelleh:  Mr. President, thank you very much. Im very happy to be in Washington, D.C., today, and I thank you for the warm welcome that you have extended to me and my delegation.

Id very much like to achieve reinforced relations between Djibouti and the United States. And I would like to thank President Obama. And I would like to thank President Obama once more for having shown such a willingness to receive us here. As the President of Djibouti, I also would like to say that our relation is a relation of strategic partnership. And I not only thank the President for that, but also for everything the President is doing — his cooperation in terms of development, our political develop — our development policy. And Djibouti is very much helped by the President in terms of, as he said himself, health care education — and especially, in our case, food security. And I think that whats important here is that the President has a vision. He has a vision for the development of Africa and in general, and for our region in particular. And I thank you for that vision, Mr. President.

The fact that we welcome the U.S. forces in our country show our support for international peace and for peace in our region as well. As you know, Djibouti is not only taking part in AMISOM, but we are also present in Darfur, Cte dIvoire, Western Sahara, and soon enough in the Central African Republic. We do that all for peace in the world and for peace in Africa. So I am very happy to be here today to continue to reinforce our partnership and our relationship.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody.


 

The latest updates Follow twitter.com/GeskaAfrika
Geeska Afrika Online (1985 -2014) – The International Gateway news and views about the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Somaliland, Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda), the best IGAD news and information Online Site for the last 20 Years.


HAN & Geeska Afrika Online (1985-2014), the oldest free independent Free Press in the region, brings together top journalists from across the Horn of Africa. Including Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Afar and Harari. Plus, we have daily translations from 150 major news organizations in the Middle East and East African regions. Contact at news@geeskaafrika.com

 

LEAVE A REPLY