Dehai News Foreign military bases seen as threat to East Africa

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Date: Monday, 20 May 2019

French president Emmanuel Macron (right) visits

French president Emmanuel Macron (right) visits the French military base in Djibouti on March 12, 2019. PHOTO | LUDOVIC MARIN | AFP 

Monday May 20 2019

Western nations, China and emerging military powers such as India and Turkey are projecting their military might throughout East Africa, a new report says.

The growing array of foreign military deployments has so far served mainly as an expression of international co-operation on benign initiatives such as preventing piracy, supporting peace operations and providing humanitarian relief, notes the study carried out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Countering terrorism has also been a shared objective of the Western, Asian and Middle Eastern countries with a military presence in East Africa, the report says.

But some of these foreign forces are using military bases in the region in order to counter perceived threats from one another, Sipri notes.

And the consequences of the accelerating build-up of outside military strength may prove destabilising for East Africa, the report warns.

"The focus on joint efforts to promote regional security is currently being superseded by external military deployments to the Horn that are driven by geopolitical, commercial and military competition, often with negative effects for regional stability,” Sipri states.



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