DJIBOUTI CITY, 15 February 2021 – French troops have picked Djibouti to organize training sessions in the desert alongside local troops, according to reports.
French and Djiboutian troops are practice air defense while elite units of their armies are doing assault exercises, senior French military officers have told reporters.
“We have unequalled freedom of action and training here,” said Colonel Olivier Saunier, head of the air base for the French Forces in Djibouti.
France and Djibouti signed defense accords in 1977, followed by revisions in 2011 and during a visit last Friday to Paris, the Djiboutian President confirmed the two countries are renegotiating the agreements.
Under the agreement, France provides Djibouti with air protection and in return for $40 million in annual rent, France gets its biggest foreign military base in Djibouti.
The base is a springboard for 1,500 French troops, warplanes and ships.
The Port of Djibouti awaits the arrival next March of the French Navy’s flagship, aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle en route to maneuvers in the Indian Ocean.
Djibouti’s strategic position has attracted several countries to set up bases.
Japan and Italy have bases there to help anti-piracy operations.
China set up a military base in the Horn of Africa nation since 2017.
An American base in the country houses 4,000 troops and is used to carry out operations against jihadists in Somalia and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.