Ethiopia has struggled to remain neutral in the Gulf dispute. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, File)
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Though far-removed from the Gulf, East Africa has been shaken by the Arab diplomatic crisis gripping Qatar. In recent years both Qatar and the other energy-rich nations arrayed against it have made inroads in the Horn of Africa by establishing military bases, managing ports and showering friendly nations with foreign aid.Since the conflict began, the United Arab Emirates and others have established military bases in East Africa. In Eritrea, the UAE has a base at the port in Assab. Another Emirati military base will be built in Somalia's breakaway northern territory of Somaliland.Saudi Arabia meanwhile has discussed putting its own base in tiny Djibouti, already home to an under-construction Chinese military base and a U.S. base that launches drone missions over Somalia and Yemen.Eritrea hosts the UAE military base at Assab while siding with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.For Ethiopia, which fought wars against Somalia and Eritrea in the last 20 years, the ongoing Gulf crisis adds new uncertainty. The country maintains one of the region's strongest militaries, but sees itself as being hemmed in by foreign military bases.
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