US Embassy Cable regarding Djibouti (A bit rich)

  1. (C) **Djibouti is a peaceful, tolerant, democratic, Muslim **
    **country that contributes remarkably to the national security **
    of the United States as a key security partner. In addition
    to hosting a U.S. base, it refuels our ships (currently twice
    a week), broadcasts the Voice of America in Arabic and Somali
    throughout the region, and even provides us with one of our
    few live ammunition bombing ranges outside the U.S. (which we
    share with the French and Djiboutians). Recently, it
    replaced Dubai as the place we pre-position emergency food
    aid for the entire region. Djibouti consistently presses to
    resolve conflicts through dialogue, and its President, Ismael
    Omar Guelleh, publicly condemns acts of terror. It resolved
    its own civil war in the 1990s through a series of
    negotiations that led to an elected government that contains
    a coalition of former government and opposition leaders.
    President Guelleh, elected in 2005 to a second and final
    six-year term, is the architect of Djibouti’s partnership
    with the United States, and of the private investment-driven
    economic growth that is literally changing the face of this
    once sleepy, post-colonial port-city-state.

  2. (C) Your visit to Djibouti follows successful visits in
    December 2007 by the Secretary of Defense and by CENTCOM
    Commander Adm. Fallon. Immediately following your departure,
    the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) will visit
    Djibouti (17-18 January 2008).

  3. (S) Our presence in, and partnership with Djibouti,
    significantly increase our capacity to project our principles
    and defend our interests in Africa. Home to the Combined
    Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), the only U.S.
    military base in Africa, Djibouti consistently proves its
    value as a security partner in many other ways. It is also
    home to 3,500 French armed forces personnel, many of whom
    live here with family members. When Djibouti won its
    independence from France in 1977, the two nations entered
    into an accord that obligated France to protect Djibouti,s
    territorial integrity. Djibouti survived under that
    umbrella, in a very tough neighborhood, but, until recently,
    it did not show signs of flourishing.


  1. (SBU) Much to the surprise of many, Djibouti is, today,
    fast becoming a vital hub with the potential to accelerate
    regional economic growth. After France, Djibouti’s next most
    important source of revenue has been Ethiopia. Long one of
    Ethiopia,s outlets to the sea, Djibouti today handles almost
    all Ethiopia,s oceangoing commerce, and the volume is
    booming. Friction closed Ethiopia,s access to Eritrea,s
    port, and instability in Somalia chilled use of Berbera and

  2. (C) Some attribute Djibouti’s rise today to Ethiopia,s
    lack of port options. That is a factor, but others think the
    additional umbrella provided by our U.S. presence was what
    sparked investment, particularly from the Emirates. The U.S.
    deserves some credit, but most goes to President Guelleh who,
    after all, invited us (and Dubai and others) here.
    Djibouti’s opening to the global economy, its surge in direct
    foreign investment, and its emphasis on education and health
    care, all reflect President Guelleh’s personal priorities.
    The boom in trade volume reflects Djibouti,s rapidly growing
    capacity as well as demand. Emirati investors, led by Dubai,
    are pumping about one billion dollars into the port and other
    infrastructure, with significant additional investment
    likely. U.S., Indian, Chinese, French and other investors
    are following suit. Looking at the Horn as a whole, you
    might not find a more transformational economic
    infrastructure investment than the port complex Djibouti is
    improving now at private sector expense, with its road, air,
    and rail links. Djibouti knows that its future depends on
    region-wide stability, economic growth, and integration.
    Djibouti’s port speeds trade, and its livestock quarantine
    and export facility (that USAID launched) permits legitimate
    exports from the Horn to key Mid-East markets for the first
    time in decades.

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  1. (U) Djibouti,s long-term plan is to diversify the work of
    its port, so that it serves more as a regional transshipment
    hub, than as a port dedicated to Ethiopia. In addition, it
    hopes to maintain a strong banking sector, with its
    convertible currency, pegged to the dollar since 1949,
    serving as a hard currency haven for people throughout the
    region. Djibouti seeks to develop its own mineral, maritime,
    and tourism resources. It sees its future as one driven by
    global economic growth, and sees economic integration as
    essential to stability. Its success would help inculcate
    similar values in the neighbors.


  1. (C) When you meet the President, you may hear praise for
    the U.S.'s role in Djibouti, and a pitch to increase it. You
    might also here a frank admission of all the challenges
    Djibouti faces. President Guelleh recognizes, and may say to
    you that, despite the wealth of new investment here, this
    remains one of the poorest countries on earth. He is likely
    to talk about his plans for Djibouti, and his hope that we
    will continue to work together closely as partners. He would
    be glad to give you his perspective on regional tensions, and
    may urge greater efforts to strengthen rapidly the African
    Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

  2. (SBU) At your CJTF-HOA meetings, you will see our terrific
    U.S. team and get a glimpse of how we work together to
    achieve our goals. Throughout the area, the CJTF-HOA
    approach is to work with our Embassy teams, in concert with
    USAID and host nations, to focus our efforts for greatest
    effect. One of its strengths is that it has coalition
    partner liaison officers, who represent all the countries in
    the region and other international partners. With its
    international team and regional perspective, and with its
    reach back to the United States and other countries, CJTF-HOA
    finds and brings new resources to the region to face
    development and security challenges and then plans and acts
    to apply those resources effectively. Perhaps CJTF-HOA,s
    most positive impact is that it generates cooperation between
    regional leaders on security issues, and leads them to
    increase contact and coordination on their own.


  1. (SBU) At home, Djibouti faces tremendous challenges.
    Diseases, such as tuberculosis and recent cholera outbreaks,
    are common; many are imported or made worse by regional
    population flows. Recurring drought, low food production,
    and rising prices have made dangerous malnutrition a
    constant. Rural, nomadic life is increasingly tenuous.
    Despite those obstacles, Djibouti has scored significant
    domestic development successes. In November 2003, when we
    started working in health and education in Djibouti, many
    rural areas and urban neighborhoods had no schools or
    healthcare. Parents and civic leaders, until then, had
    played no role insuring quality services. Now, there are
    more than 80 parent-teacher associations. Today, girls’
    school attendance rates have soared, and there is much
    greater access to medical services in rural areas. USAID and
    CJTF-HOA, acting in concert, have had a significant hand in
    those gains. Critical audits of government activities have
    been done, and local civic groups are actively monitoring the
    success of local schools and clinics. Djibouti opened its
    first national university in 2006 and a medical school in
  2. Thanks to a fine communication effort, USG investment
    in these programs is widely known, and our role is a
    significant factor in popular support for the U.S. here.


  1. (S) Regional tensions cloud Djibouti,s development
    prospects. The principal threat is instability in Somalia,
    where AMISOM requires additional U.S. and international
    support now to buttress the Ugandans with additional troops

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and make possible the Ethiopians’ exit. Friction between
Eritrea and Ethiopia, if not dampened soon, might lead to
conflict. Other external dangers include illegal migration
and the dangers of cross-border terrorist flows, crime, and
disease. Surrounded by dangers, Djibouti resolutely supports
peaceful dispute resolution, and stands against violence and
terror. It avoids being enmeshed in territorial disputes and
has repeatedly offered to help mediate with its neighbors.
Djibouti is linked to Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
All those neighbors have family and friends and business in
Djibouti. President Guelleh presses hard for regional
economic integration as a path to growth. Djibouti recently
hosted a ministerial meeting of East African leaders on
disaster preparedness (CENTCOM’s Golden Spear), a conference
of African intellectuals promoting understanding in the Horn,
and an East African festival with musician “ambassadors” from
throughout the region.

  1. (S) Djibouti is actively working to stop terrorists. To
    increase its capacity to secure its borders, Djibouti
    requires effective security assistance, as well as job growth
    and investment in the welfare of Djibouti’s people. We are
    working to strengthen border security and information systems
    with military, police, and other officials. With CJTF-HOA
    and coalition partners, we also focus on improving
    coordination of law enforcement efforts among the countries
    in the region. We are using FMF and 1206 funds to bolster
    Djibouti,s maritime awareness (radar) and interdiction
    capacity, including a recently approved USD 7.9 million
    regional maritime awareness capability (RMAC) system, using
    FY07 Section 1206 funds. We just gave them two small, new
    cutters and are working to build a navy pier in the north of
    the country that will allow Djibouti,s Navy to project a
    presence in the Bab al Mandab strait, the entrance to the Red
    Sea. With CJTF-HOA and U.S. Coast Guard help, we are working
    with Djiboutians on small boat maintenance, handling and
    tactics; and with CJTF-HOA in the lead, we are bringing
    Djiboutians and Yemenis together to set the stage for future
    cooperation monitoring the strait. On the land, we are
    working to improve border security, providing training and
    equipment to the military and improving systems for tracking
    entrants. Often such efforts are joint ventures, with
    different Djiboutian organizations benefiting from the
    efforts of the Embassy Regional Security Office, Naval
    Criminal Investigative Service, CJTF-HOA, and others.

  2. (C) Djibouti is, by necessity, one of the most global
    market-oriented and regionally-minded governments in the
    Horn, if not all of Africa. With a new destination hotel
    complex opened in 2006, and the new port, it increasingly
    lives up to its motto: “The land of meetings and exchanges.”
    If Djibouti remains stable, develops economically, and
    demonstrates good governance, all Djibouti’s neighbors will
    benefit. Success in Djibouti will affect our efforts to
    promote peace in Somalia and our capacity to help others in
    the Horn, especially Ethiopia. This small nation at the base
    of the Horn may have an outsized impact on the whole,
    especially if Djibouti inspires its neighbors to make
    similar, transforming choices: maintain peace, attract
    investment, practice religious tolerance, and invest in
    social justice.

This was what Djibouti was selling itself as back in 2006.

Somaliland actually fits all these description that was accorded to Djibouti.

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That was outrageous no mention of freedom, democracy, human rights. The mantra by which they beat all others with.