by Abdihafid Mahamud Jama
Friday, September 20, 2019
Ismaïl Omar Guelleh is the President of Djibouti
As the Somali state and its societies fractured during the last thirty years, Djibouti, its people and leadership has been a beacon and pillar for Somali solidarity and stability in the Horn of Africa region. Djibouti continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with Somalia in blood and treasure. This is something that is in minds of every Somali citizen and this level of sacrifice and commitment would not be forgotten in the future. This political and strategic commitment would not have been possible without the sustainable ford-ward looking leadership and foresight of HE Ismail Omar Geele and his government.
While Somalia’s neighbouring states attempt to "destabilise Somalia’s" internal politics and sovereignty, playing into hands of Alshabaab terrorist, Djibouti is playing a critical and constructive role in the Horn of Africa and beyond. What we are witnessing is an ambitious small nation with broad shoulders, punching above its weight in the Horn of African, playing a pivotal role for regional and international security.Internationally, as a major transit waterway for world trade, Djibouti’s Red Sea has long caught the attention of great powers. It is bounded in the north by the Suez Canal and the south by the Bab al-Mandab Strait, two critical chokepoints that the littoral states rely on to export oil or otherwise access global markets. It is also a core part of China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, an ambitious plan to build a twenty-first-century equivalent of the lucrative Silk Road.
The volume of trade has grown significantly as demand and port facilities have expanded, becoming strategic cross-roads for regional and global trade. In addition to this, Djibouti now acts as the principal logistical hub for US and allied operations in East Africa and the Arabian peninsula
Despite many challenges, Djibouti’s size and strategic relevance mean this nation continues to play a strategic hub for global trade and peace. To illustrate the point further, the planned port of Tadjourah reconciles the strategic ambition of Djibouti to both sustain economic sovereignty while at the same time achieving economic integration with Ethiopia. Furthermore, Djibouti’s connection to Ethiopia’s electricity grid means industrial and domestic tariffs were drastically cut, giving relieve to the poor and small businesses.
The emergence of new economic opportunities and global risk to regional as well international security alongside the Red Sea should change the diplomatic landscape for the United Nations Security Council. A seat at the Security Council for Djibouti would be recognition for geo-political reality in the region, advancing international diplomatic cooperation in order to stave off conflict and further spur economic trade and development in the region, which has become economic and security hub for global powers and interest. This would not only aid the region, but will ultimately pivot the UNSC to a new global security and economic architecture for peace and stability in the meaningful future a head.
Abdihafid Mahamud Jama