Djibouti: Region not safer after Somali Islamists

The Horn of Africa is not safer now that a radical Islamic militia accused of having ties to al-Qaida has been driven from power in Somalia, the president of neighboring Djibouti said. "As far as we are concerned, we think it (security in the Horn of Africa) is as it was before because of the misery and lack of basic needs of the population," President Ismael Omar Guelleh told The Associated Press in a rare interview Monday. "People lack basic needs. There is no medicine, no water or services, nothing. They are easily used for criminal activities. That threat still remains," he said at the presidential palace in the tiny Red Sea state. More than 90 million people live in the Horn of Africa countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. Most live on less than US$1 (76 euro cents) a day. The region - particularly Somalia, which is emerging from years of anarchy - has been cited as a possible haven for terrorists since the Sept. 11 attacks.