The Senior Presidential Advisor for Special Operations, Maj Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has graced the 40th independence anniversary celebrations of the Republic of Djibouti, held in the capital, also called Djibouti.
With extremely hot temperatures hovering above 40 degrees centigrade during the day, celebrations in the tiny Horn of Africa country were conducted in the evening, starting at 7pm (on the night of the 26th of June) till the wee hours (1.00am to be exact) of the 27th of June (Independence Day).
Djiboutian President, Ismail Omar Guelleh presided over the event, which took place at the main football stadium in the capital.
General Kainerugaba, who was one of three African generals invited to attend the ceremony was present at the Independence ceremony at the stadium and a military parade early the next day at the country’s main military camp.
General Kainerugaba was invited for the occasion by the country’s Defense Minister, Hon. Ali Hassan Bahdon.
“I’m happy for the invitation to witness this important anniversary of the Djiboutian people’s independence,” said Muhoozi.
“This is indeed a historical milestone, not only for Djibouti, but for the brotherly nations of Eastern Africa. Thank you for demonstrating your love and solidarity with the people of Uganda by inviting us. I congratulate the people of Djibouti on this noble occasion,” he added.
At the military parade on the morning of Tuesday 27 June, the foreign delegations witnessed an impressive march past, which started at 6:00am in the morning, and was held at Camp Sheikh Osman.
Camp Sheikh Osman as was alluded to earlier is the largest Djiboutian military camp in the country.
Major military powers such as the United States, China, and France all have a huge military presence in the country, mainly to keep watch on their interests in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
These bases also support these nations in counter terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean region and parts of the African mainland such as in neighboring Somalia against Al Shabaab.
Djibouti, on the horn of Africa, is a mostly French and Arab speaking country of dry shrub lands, volcanic formations and rocky beaches.
It is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia in the west, Somalia in the south east and a maritime border with the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to the east.
Djibouti is strategically located near some of the of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, controlling access to the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.
It is also the main route to the sea for an increasingly powerful economic giant that happens to be land locked – Ethiopia.