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Djibouti's long-time leader Ismail Guelleh wins fifth term
Africa

Djibouti's long-time leader Ismail Guelleh wins fifth term

Djibouti's long-time President Ismail Omar Guelleh has been re-elected for a fifth term with more than 98 percent of the votes cast, according to the country's electoral commission. The leader faced only one challenger, political newcomer Zakaria Ismail Farah, who was his only rival after opposition parties decided to boycott the election. Guelleh has been in power since 1999 after the death of his predecessor Hassan Guleid Abtidon, the countries first president. The President's upcoming term is expected to be his last as the horn of the African nation constitution limits the presidency to those under the age of 75. Djibouti is a largely desert country strategically situated on one of the world’s busiest trade routes and at the crossroads between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, a short distance from war-torn Yemen. Djibouti is a key staging ground for both the United States, which uses Camp Lemonier on the outskirts of Djibouti’s capital as an operating base for 4,000 US and allied personnel, France and China, which chose the country to host its first overseas military installation in 2017. From a US perspective, Djibouti is ideally located for conducting missions in the Middle East and East Africa; for Beijing, a military presence in Djibouti helps secure its substantial East African investments.