U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe, Mike Enzi, John Boozman, Mike Rounds and Congressmen Trent Kelly and Greg Gianforte visited Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti this week where they discussed the importance of the U.S.-Djibouti partnership with President Guelleh and growing influence of China in the Horn of Africa. In addition to their aerial observations of the China’s military base and encroachment on the Port of Djibouti, the delegation toured the base and discussed ongoing military construction needs.
“We can’t afford to deny China’s encroachment in a vital port any longer,” Inhofe said. “It is clear that China is using cash and debt to trap countries in Africa and elsewhere around the world, forcing them to put not just their infrastructure, but potentially their very sovereignty on sale. This is a strategy of malign influence and coercion that is global in scope and is a direct challenge to America's interests and values. President Trump is standing up to China’s trade abuses and I look forward to working with him to address Chinese behavior in strategic areas as well.”
“Our Armed Forces stationed in Djibouti play a vital role in fighting terrorism throughout the region,” Boozman said. “We must provide these men and women with the infrastructure, tools and resources to successfully respond to threats against our national interests. There are growing concerns about China’s military presence, which I went to see for myself, and it’s increasing influence across the continent. Therefore, maintaining access to the Horn of Africa is vital to our long-term strategy. I am proud of the work being done by the U.S. military, including a few Arkansans. I will continue to be a strong supporter.”