Al-Shabaab terrorists call for terror attacks on US and French interests in Djibouti
The al-Shabab militant group has called for attacks on interests of the United States and France in Djibouti, almost two weeks ahead of the presidential election in the East African country.
In a video released late Saturday, al-Shabab’s leader Abou Obaida Ahmad Omar told his followers to “make American and French interests in Djibouti the highest priority of your targets.”
He lambasted Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh for turning the Horn of Africa “into a military base,” from which “every war … is planned and executed” against the African nations in East Africa.
Guelleh has been in power since 1999 and is set to win a fifth term in April 9 elections in Djibouti, whose strategic location as a gateway to both Africa and the Arabian Peninsula has made it a sought-after destination for foreign military bases.
Being a former French colony, Djibouti is now home to France’s largest contingent in Africa — around 1,500 troops. The US has also a permanent base there, hosting some 4,000 troops.
Japan and Italy also have their own military bases in Djibouti, while China has had a port as well as a military base in the country since 2017.
Hundreds of Djiboutian forces serve as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to fight against al-Shabab militants, who have waged a long and violent insurgency seeking to unseat the internationally-backed government in Somalia.
Despite its bloody and persisting militancy during the past decade, the militant group has lost large parts it once held in south and central Somalia to the government troops and AMISOM forces.
Somalia has faced instability and violence since 1991, when the military government was overthrown.
The country is now beset by the growing threat of Daesh as the Takfiri terrorist group is seeking to find a new foothold after it was vanquished from Iraq and much of Syria.
Like in the Middle East where it emerged with the deployment of foreign troops, Daesh is rearing its head across Africa amid the presence of forces from the US, France, and other countries.
Source: Press TV