Djibouti (Agenzia Fides) - At least 7 soldiers lost their lives in an attack on the Garabtisan base, in the north of Djibouti, in the early hours of Friday, October 7. In a statement, the Ministry of Defense blamed the "armed FRUD" (Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy) for the assault, calling it a "terrorist group".
"Although our soldiers bravely defended themselves, the attack caused the death of seven of our soldiers, the wounding of four others, while six are missing", the statement read.
In turn, the FRUD claims to have attacked the military base in response to the attack suffered by the Front fighters in the early afternoon, by the Djiboutian army, about fifteen kilometers from the military camp. The FRUD claims that its men took control of the camp and held it until the first light of dawn, and then withdrew with weapons and ammunition, something that has been strongly denied by the Djiboutian authorities.
Founded in August 1991, the FRUD aims to represent the demands of the Afar population,
who claim to be marginalized by the power system in Djibouti.
After ups and downs, in April 2001, the FRUD signed a peace agreement with the government. But a minority wing rejected the agreements and has continued the armed struggle, without taking any major action for years. One wonders if the attack on October 7 will continue to be an isolated episode or if it marks the beginning of a new cycle of violence.
Djibouti, a small but strategically located state along the strait that connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden and thus with the Indian Ocean, is home to military bases of opposing powers. In addition to the French (the former colonizers), there are Americans, Chinese, Italians, Spanish, Germans, British, and Saudis. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/10/2022)