CDA Christopher Snipes Remarks for Partner Appreciation Day 2023
Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Partners:
For over twenty years, our common goal of maintaining peace and stability in Djibouti and in the region has been achieved as a direct result of the strong partnership between our Djiboutian partners and U.S. military forces here at Camp Lemonnier.
Today we celebrate that partnership and also recognize all of our allies and friends who contribute to peace, security, and stability in Djibouti and in the region.
Together, we work to professionalize security forces throughout the Horn of Africa, respond to crises, eliminate terrorist threats, and counter piracy, to name just a few of our important areas of cooperation.
We deeply value the relationships that make these things happen, and it is our shared commitment to these goals that advances our work here in East Africa.
From the beginning, the United States and Djibouti have enjoyed a robust partnership. The depth of this collaboration was on full display in April when U.S. forces used Camp Lemonnier to conduct a military-assisted departure of U.S. diplomats from our Embassy in Khartoum. Because of this effort, over 75 Americans were returned safely to their families. The successful operation would not have been possible without our longstanding partnership with the Republic of Djibouti.
Although today we focus on security, the American–Djiboutian partnership extends far beyond the security sphere. Our shared interests also include addressing climate change, advancing economic prosperity, and improving the skills of Djiboutian workers, to cite just a few examples.
The United States, through USAID, is partnering with the private sector to invest in innovative green energy projects here in Djibouti. Volunteers from Camp Lemonnier regularly lead English Language Discussion Groups with local citizens to provide sought-after opportunities to improve English language skills and increase employability. And, earlier this week, USAID along with the Ministry of Educational and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Labor, and the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce, launched a sixteen million-dollar project to help Djiboutian youth obtain the technical training they need to meet the demands of Djibouti’s labor market, today and in the future. The project is a strong symbol of our commitment to empowering the next generation.
Djibouti plays an important role in world affairs and our partnership is like no other. It is a privilege to say, on behalf of the U.S. Mission to Djibouti, that it is stronger today than ever. We look forward to where our partnership will take us in the future.