Djibouti between opportunism and realism: Strategic pivot in the Horn

In light of recent events (the attack against the restaurant La Chaumière in May 2014 and the massive influx of refugees from Yemen), the name of the small Republic of Djibouti regularly appears in articles and comments from journalists. This article begins with a focus on the emergence and evolution of Djibouti by analysing its major assets and the reasons for a strong foreign presence which give Djibouti the status of the most important city- military garrison in Africa.

La vie politique djiboutienne à l’épreuve des élections législatives de 2013 : vers un rééquilibrage des rapports des forces ?

Les élections législatives de février 2013 et la crise politique postélectorale ont bouleversé les habitudes politiques à Djibouti. Contrairement à un certain point de vue pessimiste, ces événements ont enclenché un processus de changement.

Djibouti and the Somali conflict: Permanence, evolution, and constraints associated with a commitment to a complex crisis

It is not by accident that Mr. Hassan Sheikh Ali Mahamoud, the first president to be elected inside Somalia since 1991, made his first official visit to Djibouti. On the one hand, this trip was significant, symbolically and politically, because it sent a signal to regional and international players regarding Djibouti’s singular role during the transition period and the special place occupied by Djibouti in the eyes of the new Somali authorities. On the other hand, this visit demonstrated the Somali leader’s deep gratitude to the Djibouti’s head of state, Ismail Omar Guelleh, who became the first foreign president to set foot in Somalia during the civil war period when he visited the country in August 2011.

Les relations multidimensionnelles entre Djibouti et le monde arabe

Au-delà de la langue, l’Islam et plus généralement la culture arabo-musulmane sont une partie intégrante de l’identité djiboutienne. Bien que Djibouti soit situé sur le continent africain, les Djiboutiens ont toujours eu le sentiment d’être plus arabes qu’africains. Par ailleurs, leur africanité est remise en doute par les africains eux-mêmes.

The political economy of geo-strategic location and infrastructure development in Djibouti: National and regional ramifications

Djibouti’s revenue increments and fast economic growth is the outcome of its geo-strategic location and the resultant infrastructure developments. Port services to Ethiopia, its geo-strategic importance for external powers, and cooperation on infrastructure development with Ethiopia are key sources of revenue for Djibouti.


The report delves into the minutiae of the politics and maneuvering between organizations providing humanitarian assistance to displaced communities on the one hand and the GRSS (Government of the Republic of South Sudan), SPLM/A-IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition) and local level authorities, on the other.
This work by Markus Hoehne is an invaluable contribution to the scant literature on ‘borderlands’ and marginal ‘borderland communities’ between ‘Puntland’ and ‘Somaliland’.
This Chatham House briefing paper by Styan is a comprehensive overview of the factors that explain Djibouti’s emerging geo-strategic significance. It also analyzes the complementarities and tensions underlying the growing economic interdependence between Ethiopia and Djibouti