Officials welcome employees back to work
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, addresses a group of returning workers during a ceremony welcoming more than 1,000 employees back to work at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Aug. 7, 2013. The workers will return within the next few weeks. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Ouellette)
American and Djiboutian officials recognized the planned return of more than 1,000 local employees at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, during a ceremony on Aug. 7, 2013.
Djiboutian employment was disrupted in June when Camp Lemonnier's support services transferred to a new contractor. Local workers, upset with some of the new contract’s details, went on strike, which ended this week.
The commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, complimented the returning workers for their unwavering support during the labor disruption.
"We value our partnership with the Djiboutian government, which has always remained strong," Ferrell said. "Our countries share mutual interests in economic prosperity and regional security. We do not go alone; we will go together in all of our endeavors."
More than 1,000 employees are scheduled to return within the next few weeks, CJTF-HOA officials said.
Along with Ferrell, Djibouti's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, and the U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti, Geeta Pasi, greeted returning employees. The Ambassador welcomed the return of the workers, particularly as Djiboutian families come together to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr.
Mahamoud said Djibouti's strong partnership with the U.S. government helped facilitate the employees return.
"As we always do in such times of hardship; dialogue and consultation prevailed," he said. "The workers and their families are satisfied."
Camp Lemonnier serves as headquarters for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which supports partner nation military operations in Somalia and conducts focused military-to-military engagement to strengthen East African partner nation militaries.