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Ethio-Djibouti

In unexpectedly fast turn of events more countries are showing their willingness to join and be unified with Ethiopia. We have heard or read the proposal submitted by Somali-land to the U.S. Showing their interest to join Ethiopia couple of months ago. Now the turn seems that of Djibouti. This tiny, but impressive and strategic state in the Red Sea was once in a closer historical and political ties with Abyssinia. Djibouti was obtained as a colony by France in 1862, long before the Berlin Conference of 1884/85 Scramble for Africa, and officially controlled Djibouti until it received independence in 1977. Djibouti maintains military and economic agreements with France which provide continued security and economic assistance.
Although Djibouti has been independent since June 27, 1977, the French troops are still there forming the largest French military base in Africa in Djibouti’s territorial waters in the Red Sea. Djibouti’s economy started to boom after Ethiopia has shifted all its import/export routes away from the hostile neighbour Eritrea, following the bloody 1998/2000 border war. Djibouti’s economic and political significance grew astonishingly. The country has revamped its port repeatedly in the past to catch up with the ever increasing economic demand of Ethiopia. It has even dedicated the port of Tadjoura exclusively to Ethiopia.  Tadjoura (Afar: Tagórri; Somali: Tajoura) is the oldest town in Djibouti and the capital of the Tadjourah Region. Lying on the Gulf of Tadjoura, it is home to a population of around 25,000 inhabitants. It is the third largest city in the country after Djibouti City and Ali Sabieh. Historically, Tadjoura was the exit port of central Ethiopian highland kingdoms. During the Middle Ages, Tadjoura was ruled by the Adal Sultanate. It later formed a part of the French Somaliland protectorate in the first half of the 20th century.
President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (Somali: Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle) of Djibouti gave a historic comment when interviewed by the Ethiopian Reporter. He said the unification of these two countries is possible if it is within the interest of the people. That was a remarkable comment. The Ethiopian Foreign Affairs has also released a statement reaffirming this point and emphasising on the economic integration before political unification. That is a sound and well thought comment.
In the unification of these two countries, no one is to lose a penny, but both will show an astonishing development. In the era of Globalisation, unification of less competitive nations is necessary, if not mandatory in order to have a leverage on the world political stage.
Djibouti is a better partner to Ethiopia’s interest for a number of reasons than Eritrea or Somaliland.
The population size of Djibouti is less than one million (872,932 in 2013), the addition of that number to the close to 100 million ( current estimate of 98,989,230) population of Ethiopia is insignificant. It won’t create any imbalances to existing population parameters. The two ethnicities in Djibouti ( Afars and Issas) are also natives of Ethiopia, with close and positive relationship with their Ethiopian ancestors.
No blood has been shade between these two countries and there is no animosity of any degree. Compared to Eritrea, which is struggling to delete history of any link with Ethiopia and all that half a century long bloodshed, Djibouti is a saint state. Ethiopians has lost unimaginable finance and manpower in the struggle to keep Eritrea from secession. All that has resulted in nothing other than deep rooted hatred, bleeding economy and destitute living conditions. All the boast and cult of Sea-loving evil spirit of our Eritrean ‘brothers’ will be put in a cold water once they see Ethiopians are enjoying their own port.
Sooner or later more countries will submit their proposals to be unified with Ethiopia. Joining a stronger economy is not an act of the fool!

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