Country Report Djibouti November 2006

The political scene: Djibouti government is angered by arrest warrants

The Djibouti government reacted angrily to the arrest warrants and accused France of intimidation. It claimed that the warrants were intended solely to prevent Mr Souleiman from going to The Hague to represent Djibouti at the ICJ. It accused the French government of a miscarriage of justice and claimed that this move was further evidence of the bias of the judges investigating the affair. This case continues to damage relations between the two formerly close allies, with vitriolic attacks on France appearing regularly in the Djibouti media. Djibouti is France's largest overseas military base and is an important staging post between France and its outposts in the Indian Ocean. It pays Djibouti US$34m per year for this right. Both governments stand to lose out if this case continues to damage relations between them.

© 2006 The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved
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