BY RFI AFRICA *
The quarrels between Djibouti and Somalia seems past. Somali President Mohamed Farmajo was in Djibouti since August 16 where he met with his counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh.
The two countries have only boasted of their bonds of friendship and good understanding.
Yet before this day, the context was tense between the two countries. Djibouti had ruled that Somalia’s call for the lifting of international sanctions against Eritrea was unacceptable, while Djibouti and Asmara still have an ongoing ‘border’ dispute.
Somalis and Djiboutians were eager to pick up the pieces. In particular, President Farmajo had to be forgiven for supporting the Eritrean ‘enemy’.
” Unlike tradition, he did not even go to Djibouti after his election, ” said Sonia Le Gouriellec, Horn of Africa expert.
To add weight to the balance, Djibouti also reminded its neighbor of the deployment of soldiers on his territory to help Somalis fight terrorism. But Djibouti could not aggravate its isolation either.
Indeed, the small coastal state is in a complex situation. Peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia threatens its economic prosperity and the use of its port infrastructure.
Meanwhile, relations between Somalia and Eritrea continue to heat up. For example, the Eritrean Minister of Foreign Affairs has just spent three days in Mogadishu.
“Djibouti is lagging behind on all issues,” says Sonia Le Gouriellec who points to another threat: that of the UAE.
Djibouti is experiencing a violent standoff with Dubai, especially since the country expelled the UAE company DP World from its port of Doraleh.
“Many think that UAE wants to blow the Djiboutian regime. The business has become personal,” explains Sonia Le Gouriellec.
The Emirati is now managing the rival port of Berbera in Somaliland, they want to build a pipeline between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In short, Djibouti weakened and could not afford the luxury of a quarrel with the Somali neighbor.
*Software translation from French