As Djibouti cashed it in with alien soldiers

Alexei looks as if he had disguised himself as a Russian secret service employee. He's wearing a meticulously ironed shirt, a well-kept moustache and a leather

As Djibouti cashed it in with alien soldiers

Alexei looks as if he had disguised himself as a Russian secret service employee. He's wearing a meticulously ironed shirt, a well-kept moustache and a leather Mr hand holding a bag wrapped around the forearm. He's a not-too-large man, whose last name nobody knows, and in the desert of Djibouti. From the left, a man leans down to him, looks like he had the cliché of a US soldier dressed neck: green jumpsuit, master-Proper-bald head and a bull. The two French Mirage flies away, what is the use of Alexei for a conversation at the beginning: "What are you on? The F-16?", he asks the Americans. "No, F-15" answers the American.

Both smile and look for the Jet that disappears on the horizon. An unlikely Pair of men's hand bags, purses and bull neck, Alexei the secret service representative of the Russian Embassy – the Americans are a high-ranking soldier in the Africa Command of the U.S. army. is Around them Spanish soldiers, a delegation from the Chinese in camouflage, photographed everything, and the French, the Germans, Koreans, and Kenyans. scurry

they all came in the desert in the Horn of Africa, to a military exercise of the French armed watch force, the fly-half hour fighter jets at low altitude over, and paratroopers can rain from the sky. On the ground, hundreds of soldiers and diplomats that keep the ears when the Mirage flies again very deep approach are. In the end, there is applause. Elsewhere in the world, the diplomatic corps meets rather to Cocktail receptions – in Djibouti, the resident Nations a download to maneuver, otherwise there is not much to do.

As once Casablanca

The small state in the Horn of Africa is an interesting business model. He rents his ground to the armed forces of foreign countries, and build military bases. It's going well: the French, the British, Americans, Italians, Spaniards, Germans have settled, the Japanese have a base, sometimes it ships from South Korea to place. China is the latest addition, India and Saudi Arabia have already registered interest to come to Djibouti. It is a mixture of countries that are all friendly. The new Casablanca is called Djibouti from diplomats, because it is here, as in the Morocco of the ' 40s-years to get rid of spies, betrayal and intrigue.

The Chinese complain that American planes would fly low over to your base and spy. The Americans accuse the Chinese, to secretly make photos of your plants. The former national security adviser John Bolton revolted 2019 about US were blinded pilots of Chinese laser pointers and injured.

so Far, there are only small skirmishes between the rival big. But there is more to it, it goes to the supremacy in the Horn of Africa, the gateway to the continent. Djibouti is located on the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, only 25 kilometres between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, to be one of the most frequented shipping routes in the world. A strategically competitive place.

"When the Americans came in, everybody said, oh, oh! the Trouble with the French. But there were not. And so it remained also, as more countries came in," says Dileita Mohammed Dileita. He sits in the Lobby of the Sheraton hotel. For 12 years, until 2013, he was the Prime Minister of Djibouti – in a time in which the country began to market its strategic location-intensive. As a real estate broker who advertises the location of its object.

"When we were released in 1977, in independence, not many believed in Europe, that we would exist as a state a long time," says Dileita. The news Agency AP sneered at the time that the country has no resources, "except Sand, salt, and camels". The "New York Times" suggested that Djibouti would soon be swallowed up by its neighbors, so small and poor it is, unable to survive alone. It was the opposite. Djibouti became a stable island in a neighborhood full of civil war, Terror and Hunger. "We did it," says Dileita. A few Spanish soldiers walk through the Lobby, which opened in the Hotel quarters, because their presence is too small to have a own base.

"More than 300 meters you have to dig here to find water," says Dileita and shakes his head, as it would be bothering him still. The only lake in the country has 10-times as much salt as the sea. However, water was the solution. "We depend on it to 80 percent of services, so our access to the sea, from the ports." Who controls Djibouti, which controls the Region.

the Chinese built a railway line

The French remained after independence, with a troop presence in the country, as a kind of protective power. After the terrorist attacks of September 11. In September 2001, the United States built their largest base in Africa, with 4000 soldiers and an Arsenal of drones, which are on half a continent on the move. Next, Europeans from other countries, Germans, Spaniards and Italians came, in order to keep with the EU Mission "Atalanta", the pirates from Somalia in chess.

And then the Chinese, who not only brought soldiers, but a railway construction, 750 kilometers to Ethiopia arrived. A lot of that is financed on credit – the Opposition in the country sees the danger of a debt trap. "We have everything under control", says, however, the Ex-Prime Minister Dileita.

once she is out of the country. In 2014, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Restaurant La Chaumière in the air, and killed a Turkish citizen. The Islamic state has claimed responsibility, the attack was directed against the foreign troop presence. The Restaurant is located on the Central square of the city, there is a shaded terrace and a menu that there is something for everyone: Wok dishes from China, burgers from America, Baguettes for the French. Not much going on yet.

"guests no guests to invite"

The Americans are not allowed to leave your base, the withdrawal of the French Foreign Legion was a hard blow for the catering industry in Djibouti. Now, the Restaurants are often empty in the old town, a quarter with French colonial architecture, which would be full of rotting in front of him. The heat is crippling, only early in the afternoon it is alive, when the fresh Khat from Ethiopia arrives, the intoxicating leaves that are bought in the whole of East Africa and the people in the evening to dawn. Not much is left from the Casablanca comparison, at least in terms of the atmosphere.

You do not go so often out of the house, says the German Corvette captain Oliver Wellinger. He sits on the terrace of Kempinski hotel, in front of him a few comrades are by the Pool, behind it is the sea. A room here costs around 400 Euro, Wellinger says: "If you compare it with other inserts, we have it very good here."

Between 20 and 80 man-the Bundeswehr in use here, everyone has a single room. Like the Spaniards, the Germans have too little people on-the-spot, as it would be useful to establish a base. It would be better for the French and rent a room, what is not seen, the government of Djibouti but so. "Guests invite no guests", they say. To the German you do not earn well, if you are in the Hotel, then.

The pirates are driven out

so, as Long as the German armed forces will be stationed next to the swimming Pool, at least in the evening, during the day you are planning to use a Seeaufklärers departing during the six months in which the weather permits, the coast of Somalia after pirates. "It is a small but successful operation", said Wellinger. As the EU Mission "Atalanta" started in 2008, was cargo the coast of Somalia, a shark pool, a captured Somali pirate ships and demanded ransom.

The Association of German ship owners estimated the loss at 5 billion euros in the year. Meanwhile, the pirates seem no longer to look. It has become so quiet, that the use was reduced in size and the German soldiers may soon have new goals to look. Illegal fishing off the coast of East Africa perhaps, what would be a possible point of Conflict with China, fleets plundering the Fish of the seas of the continent.

the Ex-Prime Minister Dileita is now of the view that there were already enough points of Friction, even more military bases may not be a good idea would be, in spite of the many millions rental income. The interested parties from Russia and Iran had been cancelled already.

Created: 13.03.2020, 20:05 Uhr

Updated Date: 14 March 2020, 10:00

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