US, Djibouti reach 10-year security agreement



WASHINGTON (TNN):-The Obama administration has finalized a 10-year agreement with Djibouti to keep U.S. troops at a military base in the East African nation that houses sp ecial forces and serves as a launching point for drones.

"This is a critical facility that we maintain in Djibouti," President Barack Obama said Mon day during an Oval Office meeting with Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh. "We co uld not do it without the president's cooperation. We're grateful for him agreeing for a long-term presence there."

Djibouti, a tiny nation of less than 1 million people, has become a linchpin of U.S. anti-t errorism efforts in Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier houses conventional forces, as well as special forces and aerial drones believed to be flown over Yemen and Somalia.

An administration official said the new $63 million per year lease would allow the U.S. to keep personnel and equipment at the camp for 10 more years. The agreement includes an option to extend the lease for an additional 10 years without renegotiating the ter ms, as well as a provision to extend for an additional 10 years beyond that at a renego tiated rate, according to the official.

The official insisted on anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss th e agreement publicly by name.

The terms of the lease indicate that the U.S. is likely to maintain a long-term military pr esence in Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier is the only U.S. base in sub-Saharan Africa.

Guelleh said his country's arrangement with U.S. forces is a sign of Djibouti's "support f or international peace and for peace in our region as well."

Source : AP