Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Djibouti. A luxury military choke point.

Western soldiers are a common sight in Djibouti. There are Western troops all over the place. The hotel in Djibouti’s nondescript capital was filled with German soldiers – the first I have ever encountered. Near the airport, a gaggle of French troops wearing camouflage fatigues and absurdly short shorts were marching along the road. A Mirage jet from the French air force screamed overhead.
French warships regularly visit the harbour a few miles away. France seized Djibouti in the 19th century and kept the tiny country as a colony until as recently as 1977. Paris ensured that Djibouti’s independence treaty enshrined its right to keep a military presence here in perpetuity. An old French base, known as Camp Lemonier, is now home to about 2,300 Americans from the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.
Djibouti is Africa’s smallest countries, with only 500,000 people, resembles a camp for European and Americanarmies. Why? The Red Sea joins the Indian Ocean alongside Djibouti, making it one of the most strategically important locations on earth. This strategic location at the mouth of the Red Sea makes Djibouti an important port for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. It makes an interesting and exotic yachting destination, and the city is laid out on a grid, making it very easy to explore in an afternoon.

Djibouti is a blend of colonial French and modern Arabic, and visitors are treated with traditional African hospitality. The Central Market just south of town is worth seeing, and is the best place to go if you’re hungry. Spicy, oven-baked or barbecued fish is a local specialty that you shouldn’t miss. The Aquarium Tropical de Djibouti is one of the town’s main attractions, open daily from 4 to 6:30pm, except during Ramadan. The best beaches are near the city of Dorale, and you can boat to the islands of Maskalii and Moucha in the Gulf of Tadjoura. Swimming, diving and snorkeling are excellent in the Red Sea coral reefs not far from the city of Djibouti. The climate here is mostly hot and humid, with the best time to visit being November to mid-April when it is less hot. Rainfall is less than five inches per year and vegetation is sparse or non-existent.

Here, Africa and Arabia are only 17 miles apart, separated by the Bab-El-Mandeb straits (which translates, appropriately enough, as the “Gates of Tears”). Giant tankers carry 3.3 million barrels of oil through this natural corridor every day. Last year, about 17,000 ships entered the “Gates of Tears”. This is what military planners call a “choke-point”. If terrorists were able to disable or destroy a super-tanker here, they could block the Bab-El-Mandeb and cause huge damage to the world economy. This explains the Western presence. But what do ordinary Djiboutians make of it? Post what you think today!

(Note:This Story was origionally posted by at 20 Oct 06 18:18)


Anonymous said...

nothing about the khat?
and the goats...!
...or the french bowling alley?

much more than one afternoon...
good stuff

Anonymous said...

In the first class those can be differentiated whose claim can be at once recognized by the replacement of sexual things in common speech (those, for instance, arising from agriculture, as reproduction, seed) from others whose sexual references appear to reach back to the earliest times and to the obscurest depths of our image-building.. He remembered only one woman who ran as lithely as she did, one of the numerous diving beauties of the vaudeville stage.. You mout sile them purty fingers.. Watkinson, expressing her regret that she had not been able to see them when they called; and explaining that her family duties always obliged her to deny herself the pleasure of receiving morning visitors, and that her servants had general orders to that effect. A deputy sheriff, provided that lawyers were not too indulgent in allowing acknowledgment of service of court processes, in postponing levies and sales, and in settlement of litigated cases, might pick up three hundred dollars, a good sum for those times, a fact which Mr.. Misfortunes of many kinds came heavily upon the family after the head was gone.. Hence, for the nocturnal excitation in the Force, there remains no other path than that followed by the wish excitements from the Unc.. Ellsworth went out to hunt up Uncle Billy, with an especial solace in mind.. We have nothing more elegant in stock. Her hat was trimmed with a narrow-striped silk of the same colors--maroon and white--and in her hand she held a parasol that matched her dress.. Let pretend we ain't here and he'll go away, breathed Abner.. He remembered his own power with a jury; his vanity and his chivalry alike approved of this heroic method; he was bound by the prosaic facts--he had his own theory of the case, which no mere evidence could gainsay.. There is one thing I have forgotten to show you, said the Superintendent, the cell for the confinement of violent and unmanageable Punsters.. I has infloonced a consider'ble custom to this house, as you know, bo'din' and transion. When we were in the cab, and the cab-driver turned the disc so that the first sixty hellers were visible, I continued the jest.. The attendant circumstances of the analysis render it admissible that the influence of this second group of conceptions caused the displacement of amyl to propyl.. Where the dream is concerned with uninteresting and unimportant conceptions, analysis reveals the numerous associative paths which connect the trivial with the momentous in the psychical estimation of the individual.. In the analysis the dreamer first thought of a story told him by his uncle, which chronologically was later than the dream, viz.. I reckon, said the elder, resting his hands upon his knees and bending down to the list, you may gimme sassprilla an' a little strawberry.. She blushed and bowed her luxuriant tresses into close contact with those supplied me temporarily by Grandjean...

Omar Cruz said...

These articles are fantastic; the information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written. It’s just great!! Do you want to know something more? Read it...:Great investment opportunity in Costa Rica: jaco beach resort, best western hotel jaco beach, map jaco beach costa rica. Visit us for more info at:

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is not so related to your page, but it is the site you asked me 1 month ago about the abs diet. I tried it, worked well. Well here is the site