Horn of Africa / Djibouti accused of supporting mass crimes

Organizations point to the country's responsibility for igniting several conflicts in the Horn of Africa. They have equally denounced the international community’s silence in complicity with the world's great powers present in the country through their different military bases.

13 Aoû 2019    

Djibouti has never been indexed in destabilization and mass crimes in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait before. Since 2015, between 100,000 to 200,000 people have been killed in the war in Yemen. In the bloody conflict, there is a possibility that many weapons and ammunition passed through the Djibouti coast, before getting into Yemen to be used by militias.

According to a report by E.X.X Africa, a company specialized in analyzing political and economic risks in Africa, Djibouti plays a leading role in the destabilization of the Horn of Africa. The document states that senior political figures, military and heads of Djiboutian public enterprises are transporting arms in the region to countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia. According to E.X.X Africa, these weapons pass through the Doraleh port terminal, controlled by the Djiboutian government. They are also transported aboard fishing boats to many rebel groups in the region.

"We have identified a number of political leaders in the government and the military, including heads of state-owned enterprises that facilitate, finance or coordinate the transportation of these weapons from Yemen or China to cause chaos in Africa,” says Robert Besseling, Executive Director of EXX Africa.

He said that EXX Africa has "proof that the Djiboutian contingent within the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is moving weapons from Djibouti to northern Somalia’s border for armed separatists loyal to the Djiboutian government or financed by it,”

adds Besseling. A fair amount of these weapons would go to Puntland, a region in northern Somalia.

The international community’s complicit silence

All these operations are taking place under the complicit eye of the international community. "Western nations, who could issue sanctions, can not do it. Because if they do, China will have the entire territory and economy to itself," says Jean-Loup Shaal, president of the Association for the respect of human rights in Djibouti. He also argues that Djibouti is giving itself a good public image by hiding behind assistance to countries like Somalia and supplying boats that fight against piracy in the region.

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