Africa: China and Djibouti negotiate over first overseas military base
China plans to build its first overseas military outpost in the east African nation of Djibouti
BEIJING- The Chinese government has confirmed its started negotiations with Djibouti’s government for the construction of a new military base there.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry says the base will be used to provide supplies for Chinese warships on escort missions in the Gulf of Aden.
It will be China’s first military installation in Africa.
More than 60 Chinese naval vesselshave sent to the waters off Somalia since it joined the international escort missions in the area 7-years ago.
Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, bordering Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
It also faces the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east.
The Chinese military used a port in Djibouti three years ago when it withdrew its citizens from Yemen during the start of that country’s internal conflict.
Video: China to build naval hub in Djibouti located in East Africa, which is already home to a U.S. military base
Video: Forum on China–Africa Cooperation Summit
Camp Lemonnier provides, operates and sustains superior service in support of combat readiness and security of ships, aircraft, detachments and personnel for regional and combatant command requirements; and enables operations in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-African Nation relations. Camp Lemonnier is a U.S. Navy led installation operated by Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia via U.S. Naval Forces Africa and Commander, Navy Installations Command.
The Camp supports approximately 4,000 U.S., joint and allied forces military and civilian personnel and U.S. Department of Defense contractors. Additionally, the base provides employment for approximately 100 local and third country nation workers.
Camp Lemonnier falls under the structure of Commander Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia; which is responsible for the base’s expansion, upkeep, and logistics support.
The camp originally belonged to the artillery of the French 5th Overseas Task Force. After negotiations in 2001, the Djiboutian government allowed for the base’s use by the U.S. military. Today, Camp Lemonnier serves as a key location from which U.S. and Coalition forces operate in the Horn of Africa.
Source: U.S. Navy
Djibouti is slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey
Population: 828,324 (July 2015 est.)
Somali 60%, Afar 35%, other 5% (includes French, Arab, Ethiopian, and Italian)
French (official), Arabic (official), Somali, Afar
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