lørdag 1. desember 2018

Djibouti - A modern day Cold War Casablanca

When Beijing inaugurated its first overseas military base here on August 1, 2017, Djibouti was turned fully into a modern day Casablanca, where everyone seems to be spying on one another. It may be a Francophone port city with an interior as rugged as Morocco’s, but there is no Rick’s Café here, as famously portrayed in the 1942 movie with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

But, at a more modern luxury hotel overlooking the beach in the north of Djibouti City, Western military officers and soldiers in uniform can be seen alongside Chinese businessmen and technicians as well as assorted dignitaries from Africa and Arab countries. The Chinese base, maintained by the People’s Liberation Army Navy, is located at Doraleh west of the capital while all the other nations’ bases are situated near the international airport to the south less than ten kilometers away.