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Djibouti’s Chinese Debt

Djibouti's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mahamoud Ali Youssouf (R) welcomes China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi upon his arrival at the diplomatic institute in Djibouti, on January 9, 2020. AFP

On July 15, 2019, Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Djibouti’s Minister of Economy and Finance, tweeted to announce that the restructuring of China’s ExIm Bank loan for the construction of the Djiboutian section of the Djibouti-Addis Ababa railway line would be completed even though “a few small details” remained to be settled. He was back in Beijing a month later, on August 7th, to discuss these details. The minister reports “high-quality exchanges”, but the atmosphere no longer seems to be festive, judging by the two photos he posts on Twitter where the three Djiboutian envoys (including him in the middle) have to face ten representatives of the ExIm Bank of China.

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