Djibouti. Tensions in the Horn of Africa eased during the
year, especially since Eritrea made peace with Ethiopia and
thawed relations with her neighbor Djibouti.
However, the establishment of the Chinese military base
in Djibouti 2017 led to increased concern. In May, for
example, Chinese nationals, according to US Pentagon
headquarters, fired military lasers against American pilots
on numerous occasions. According to
Countryaah.com, the US, Japan and France also have
military bases in the country.
Due to the strained security situation in Yemen, the
International Red Cross was forced in June to relocate 71
foreign workers to Djibouti.
At the African Union (AU) Summit in Rwanda in March,
Djibouti, along with 44 other African states, signed a free
trade agreement, the African Continental Free Trade Area
(AfCFTA). For Djibouti, the free trade zone means that in
the future the country's three major ports can be linked to
the railroad between Djibouti and Ethiopia's capital Addis
Ababa, thus making the country a hub for international
trade. And it is needed, as the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) has expressed fears that the country's national debt
will rise rapidly, from 50 percent of GDP in 2014 to 85
percent of GDP in 2017.