The leader of the jihadist group to Shabaab, Ahmed Omar Abu Ubaydah, has released a new audio in which it targets Gibuti, where the presidential elections will be held on April 9, and has launched an appeal to carry out attacks against Western military targets in the country. In the audio, broadcast through the channels of the jihadist group, Abu Ubaydah accused the authorities of Djibouti of wanting to transform the country into a military base "from which to plan the war against Muslims in East Africa" and invited his militants to " carry out single operations of martyrdom of the lone wolf to expel the French and the Americans ”. "Make American and French interests in Djibouti the top priority of your goals“, Reads the audio, according to reports from the Somali website“ Garowe Online ”. Abu Ubaidah then added that al Shabaab is ready to offer "safe refuge" and "prepare and train" those who wish to migrate from Djibouti if they cannot fulfill their "individual obligation of jihad".
The US Command for Africa (Africom) has a base in Djibouti from where troops are trained and deployed to strategic locations in support of allied governments. Somalia is a beneficiary of the Africom training program, however US troops announced their withdrawal from the country at the end of 2020 and completed it in January following an executive order from the then president. Donald Trump, however, Africom continues to conduct air strikes in Somalia. Al Shabaab has already carried out attacks in Djibouti on May 24, 2014, when a double suicide explosion in a restaurant frequented by Westerners killed three people. Voters from Djibouti will go to the polls on April 9 for the presidential elections. The outgoing president Ismail Omar Guelleh will run for a fifth term.