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The Italian Minister of Defense Hon. Lorenzo Guerini met the soldiers of the Italian Military Support Base engaged in the mission in Djibouti.

“A sincere thank you to all the women and men of the national contingent for the tenacity by which, despite the continuing health emergency from Covid-19, they have completed the several planned activities. I bring you the greetings and thanks of Italy, which is proud of your work in this distant land where – as you well know – strong factors of instability are at stake in the center of the global balance of security”.

These were the words of the Italian Minister of Defense, Lorenzo Guerini, during his visit to the Italian Military Support Base (BMIS) in Djibouti.

The Minister, accompanied by the Italian Ambassador at the Italian Embassy in Addis Ababa, H.E. Arturo Luzzi, was welcomed by Col. (AM) Luigi Bigi, Commander of the BMIS and then participated in the lowering of the flag in the presence of a representation of the BMIS personnel, together with the staff of the Carabinieri Training Mission (MIADIT), deployed on the square.

In greeting the personnel of the contingent, the Minister said: “We are in this land since 2013, with this ‘stable outpost’ that is the first real Italian logistic-operational base, with an inter-force connotation, built abroad after the Second World War. Since then, the Italian Military Support Base, launched on the basis of a bilateral cooperation agreement between our country and the Republic of Djibouti, has become the fundamental logistical reference point for national military operations taking place in the area of the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, the Somali Basin and the Indian Ocean, as well as for Italian personnel in transit through the territory of the Republic of Djibouti or employed in Somalia“.

During the visit to the Base, the Minister went on to say that, thanks to the contribution of the personnel – present and past – of BMIS “it has been possible to finalize the many activities of support to the population contributing, day after day, to rebuild the economic and social fabric of this country, to instill confidence in the local population, to generate esteem towards the Italians”.

The mission of BMIS, the only national example of its kind deployed on the African continent, is to provide logistical support to all national components in transit through Djibouti engaged in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean, with particular reference to the missions MIADIT Somalia, EUTM Somalia and EUNAVFOR ATALANTA.

“Djibouti is a small but crucial reality, which in recent years has made its nerve center an important access point to the Horn of Africa region and a control room for operations to combat terrorism, monitor commercial traffic and combat piracy,” continued Minister Guerini.

The ceremony was held in accordance with the procedures for protection and prevention against COVID-19.