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