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Overview: The Republic of Djibouti remained a critical partner for the United States and the  region in the fight against terrorism, and no terrorist incidents were reported in Djibouti in  2021. Since 2002, Djibouti has hosted Camp Lemonnier, the headquarters of AFRICOM’s  Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the only enduring U.S. military installation in  Africa. Djiboutian law enforcement agencies continued to prioritize CT efforts throughout the  country. As in previous years, Djiboutian government officials, particularly those in law  enforcement and the Ministry of Islamic and Cultural Affairs, worked closely to identify and  address terrorist activity.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is the regional organization for the  Greater Horn of Africa, headquartered in Djibouti. IGAD’s Center of Excellence for Preventing  and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE) provides training and resources to counter  violent extremism throughout the region. Djibouti’s armed forces deploy soldiers to the African  Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) campaign and will field their Rapid Intervention  Battalion in FY 2024 with the task of rapid response and CT.

2021 Terrorist Attacks: There were no terrorist incidents reported in Djibouti in 2021.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Djibouti has a legal framework for  prosecuting terrorism-related crimes and can try those charged of terrorism-related offenses in  criminal courts, using its penal code. In 2020, the Ministry of Justice issued life sentences to two  accomplices in a 2014 suicide-bomber attack at a popular restaurant, La Chaumière.

Djiboutian law enforcement agencies consist of the Djiboutian National Police (DNP), the  Djiboutian National Gendarmerie (the Gendarmerie), the General Directorate for Services of  Documentation and Security, and the Djiboutian National Coast Guard — all of which  proactively detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism in the country. The DNP, the  Gendarmerie, and the Coast Guard developed a biometric program that uses handheld biometric  capture devices, which can generate a DNA profile. Once populated, the Gendarmerie and Coast  Guard DNA database can be searched for identity and limited familial (including paternal) relationships.

Djibouti continued to enhance border security and deter terrorist travel, with security protocols  and increased use of criminal databases such as INTERPOL’s. The country also continued to  conduct traveler screening and process travelers through entry and exit points at the international  airport and seaports.

Most travelers who enter Djibouti do so by land at one of four border points, one of them at the  Somali-Djibouti border. Maritime travelers also enter at Obock, located on the north side of the  Gulf of Tadjoura. Djiboutian law enforcement agencies coordinate their CT functions and  information sharing. The DNP controls border checkpoints, with support from the Gendarmerie  patrolling between border posts, and the country’s armed forces are responsible for patrolling

land borders in remote locations. To screen for potential security threats, law enforcement  agencies also maintain checkpoints and conduct vehicle cordon-and-search operations on the  way into and within the capital city.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Djibouti’s FIU is Le Service de Renseignements  Financiers (SRF). SRF oversees and enforces AML/CFT regulations. It conducted online  trainings on detecting terrorism financing, including for financial institutions, to identify  potential terrorism financing threats among their NGO account holders. The FIU also signed  MOUs with the Djibouti Tax Office and Djibouti Customs, intending to enhance cooperation  between the two government agencies and SRF on countering terrorism financing. Djibouti is a  member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), a  FATF-style regional body.

The country’s proximity to Somalia and Yemen remains a risk factor for terrorism financing  concerns, as many Djibouti-based financial institutions continue to operate in neighboring  countries that have weak or no AML/CFT legislation or other financial controls. There were no  published law enforcement cases involving suspected terrorism financing in 2021.

Countering Violent Extremism: The Ministry of Justice continued to convene the National  Antiterrorism Taskforce, consisting of a national commission of experts, including from the  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ICEPCVE. The task force held several terrorism-related  exercises on responses to and the prevention of terrorist attacks, enhancing protection of soft  targets such as restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores. Although law enforcement measures  constitute the bulk of Djibouti’s national CT strategy, community engagement — including with  youth, sports, culture, and civil society organizations — is an increasingly important feature of  its CVE efforts. Law enforcement agencies continued to work with the High Islamic Council  within the Ministry of Islamic and Cultural Affairs to identify and monitor activity that promoted  violent extremism.

International and Regional Cooperation: Djibouti hosts IGAD’s executive secretariat. Additionally, the IGAD ICEPCVE is based in Djibouti and provided training and resources on  CVE throughout the region, including representatives from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia,  Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Djiboutian military continued its participation  in AMISOM, which counts Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda as the other four Troop  Contributing Countries.

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