US gets 10-year lease extension on Djibouti military base

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US has struck a deal with Horn of Africa nation Djibouti to renew the lease on 'Camp Lemonnier' for another 10 years.

The Deal

  • Under the new term of engagement US will shell out $63m annually to keep its sole counter-terrorism base in the continent of Africa.
  • The revised rent is almost double of the current $38m a year.

Camp Lemonnier

  • The military base is home to around 4,000 personnel from both conventional and special forces.
  • Its been used to launch drone strikes throughout the region in general and on Yemen (al-Qaeda) and Somalia (al-Shabab) in particular. 
  • It also comes handy for fight against piracy and human trafficking rampant in the region.

Geopolitical significance of Djibouti

  • The country is strategically located as a Red Sea transit point and serves as a key refueling and transshipment center for all the ships transiting suez canal.
  • Its proximity to volatile regions of Arabian peninsula and horn of Africa makes it attractive for initiating military operation against them in order to keep a check on these terror hubs.

What Djibouti stands to gain

  • More influx of US assistance and equipment for Djibouti's forces
  • Aid for developing Djibouti's economy which includes money, goods and services (expertise).

After the infamous 9/11 attack on US, The superpower presence has steadily increased in this region.

About the country

  • Area: 23,200 square km (size of Manipur)
  • Population (2014 estimate): 8 lacs only
  • Capital and largest city: Djibouti City
  • President: Ismail Omar Guelleh
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