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Djibouti: joint mission by auditors from the three IHEDN national sessions

First days of the joint mission of IHEDN auditors

The Friday 08 January 2021

La 73e SN POLDEF, la 57e SN AED and 6e SN ESM have arrived in the Republic of Djibouti for their annual study mission.

This trip will enable IHEDN students to find out first-hand about France's political and military objectives and challenges in this region of the Horn of Africa.

Welcomed by the French Forces in Djibouti in the best possible conditions and in strict compliance with anti-CoVid measures, the visit began with speeches by COMFOR, Air Force Brigadier General Stéphane DUPONT, the French Ambassador to Djibouti, Arnaud GUILLOIS, the Japanese Ambassador to Djibouti, Umio OTSUKA, and Mohamed Houmed, President of the Djibouti National Assembly.


Departure for the desert, where the various dynamic demonstrations will take place, is now imminent...

Last days of mission in Djibouti before taking off for France

Sunday afternoon, 10 January 2021

After returning from Arta by sea or lorry and a quick lunch, some of them at the French Embassy, the audience was treated to a second series of lectures. After the first, which focused on the Republic of Djibouti in its global Indo-Pacific and African geostrategic environment, with a brilliant performance by the Japanese ambassador to Djibouti, HEM Umio Otsuka, the speakers and debates on this final morning focused on the issues and challenges facing this young republic.

IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : Explication aux auditeurs de l’emploi d’outil de combat urbain par les soldats du 6e régiment du génie d’Anger
IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : Explanation to the audience of the use of urban combat tools by the soldiers of the 6th Engineer Regiment of Anger

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, outlined the major international ambitions of this small country, a centre of stability in a sub-region troubled by numerous conflicts. 

Ms Anne Brigitte Masson, Head of the Economic Department at the French Embassy in Ethiopia/Djibouti, accompanied by Mr Georges Rico Grillo, Managing Director of Rubis Energie Djibouti, Mr Jean-Stanislas Vimar, representative of the French Foreign Trade Advisors, Mr André Massida, Managing Director of the eponymous group, and Mr Jean-François Rémy, Director of the Kempinski Hotel, gave an overview of the economic situation in the Republic of Djibouti, the impact of COVID 19 and the development opportunities available, and Jean-François Rémy, Director of the Hôtel Kempinski, gave an overview of the economic situation in the Republic of Djibouti, the impact of COVID 19 and the development opportunities open to the country, particularly in the energy and tourism sectors.      

Finally, Mr Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, the Minister of the Economy and Finance with responsibility for industry, gave a comprehensive overview of the "Economic challenges facing Djibouti today and tomorrow".

And so, after a short night in the desert under the tent, the day began with the sound of the bugle at five o'clock in the morning. Needless to say, it didn't take long for the listeners to enjoy a good night's sleep, which was all the more recuperative as the next day's activities resumed at the crack of dawn.

©IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : sous la tente
©IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : under the tent

Monday 11th January 2021

After an initial talk on the strategy in the Horn of Africa of a banking group based in Djibouti, given by Régis Barriac, Director of the Bank for Commerce and Industry in the Red Sea, the audience split into groups to take part in a number of visits and round-table discussions.  

Some of the audience took part in round-table discussions led by Mr Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan, Minister of Defence, H.E. Mr Aidan O'Hara, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Djibouti, Ms Barbara Manzi, United Nations Coordinator in Djibouti, Mr Stéphane Gallet, Director of the Institut français de Djibouti and Mr Philippe Collignon, Director of the Agence française de développement in Djibouti.

©IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : Le ministre de l’Economie et des Finances chargé de l’industrie, Monsieur Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, s’adressant aux auditeurs en présence de S.E.M. Arnaud Guillois, ambassadeur de France auprès de la République de Djibouti et du général de corps d’armée Patrick Destremau, directeur de l’IHEDN
IHEDN | DJIBOUTI 2021 : The Minister of Economy and Finance in charge of Industry, Mr Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, addressing the audience in the presence of H.E. Mr Arnaud Guillois, French Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti and Lieutenant General Patrick Destremau, Director of IHEDN.

The other listeners visited the American and Italian bases and the desalination plant built by Eiffage, while the listeners in the "Maritime issues and strategies" session logically visited the Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port. Given a very warm welcome by its Managing Director, Mr Djama Ibrahim Darar, and his senior subordinates, in the presence of Djibouti Radio and Television (RTD), the listeners enjoyed an exceptional briefing and discussion.

This large multi-purpose port (dry and liquid bulk, containers, Ro-Ro, general cargo), located on one of the world's most important maritime routes linking Europe and Asia, and Ethiopia's virtually unique gateway for the majority of goods from this country, which is experiencing strong economic growth, impressed listeners with its capacities and exceptional development prospects, accentuated by its positioning on the "Maritime Silk Road" of Chinese strategy. 

With a draught of 20 metres, the port will be able to accommodate the world's largest ships, and its transhipment facilities are among the most efficient in the world. The future city-centre port will house a business centre, data centre, marina and luxury hotel, in line with the country's ambitions to develop tourism. After giving an interview to RTD and a quick tour of the port, the delegation that took part in the "Maritime Challenges and Strategies" session had to leave this fast-expanding port, which had impressed them so much, with its far-reaching development prospects. 

Finally, listeners who still had a little energy left were able to take a quick trip into town to discover Djiboutians as welcoming as ever, especially the French.

It was with stars in their eyes, impressed by the quality of the welcome they had received and proud of the capabilities and professionalism of their armies that, late in the evening, the listeners then took off for metropolitan France on an overnight flight. It didn't take long for them to drift off to sleep, as the non-stop flow of activity of the last three days came to an abrupt halt. Tired but happy, the listeners will long remember this unique mission to Djibouti.