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‘Ethiopia will not break up’ says Djibouti’s FM Mahmoud Ali Youssouf

By Olivier Caslin
Posted on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 18:33

Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Djibouti’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, on 21 October 2020, in Djibouti.

Djibouti’s foreign affairs minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf sits down for a candid interview on its relations with Ethiopia in the context of the Tigray crisis, regional stability, new representation on the continent and relations with France.

Appointed to head his portfolio for the first time in 2005, 56-year-old Mahmoud Ali Youssouf is an experienced foreign affairs minister. Although he was expected to take over the government after President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh’s re-election to a fifth term in April 2021, Youssouf was reappointed to his role as head of diplomacy, which he knows inside out, just like the geopolitics of the sub-region.

At a time when the situation in Ethiopia is beginning to raise fears about the stability of the Horn of Africa and beyond, he discusses what is at stake.

What five-year roadmap has the head of state given you?