Military support base opens in Djibouti

AFP
China officially opened its first overseas military support base in Djibouti yesterday.
AFP

China officially opened its first overseas military support base in Djibouti yesterday.

Military personnel, officials and guests attended a flag-raising ceremony and parade to mark the occasion, Xinhua news agency reported.

The event was timed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the establishment of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Officers and troops paraded before an audience that included Djibouti’s defense minister.

China sent its first deployment of troops to the facility on July 11, marking the occasion with a ceremony in the southern province of Guangdong.

Defensive in nature, the logistics base will provide support for naval escorts in Africa and southwest Asia, UN peacekeeping, anti-piracy and evacuating Chinese nationals from the region in case of emergency, according to China’s defense ministry.

The Chinese navy has long assisted anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden, as well as UN peacekeeping efforts throughout Africa.

China started building the base in February 2016 in the port on the Horn of Africa, where it will be just a few kilometers from Camp Lemonnier, the United States’ only permanent base in Africa.

Chinese banks have funded at least 14 infrastructure projects in Djibouti, valued at US$14.4 billion in total, including a railway line that will halve transit times from Djibouti to Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa.

Home to around 800,000 people, Djibouti also hosts troops from France and Japan.


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