Djibouti - A government ultimatum for clandestine foreign workers to leave Djibouti by the end of this month is causing consternation among bourgeois citizens who wonder who now will clean their houses, cook and mind their children.
In this little country of 500 000 people in the Horn of Africa, low-wage workers from Somalia, Ethiopia and elsewhere do most of the thankless and physical work.
Djibouti enjoys relative prosperity because of the presence of French and American military bases, enough for many people to be able to afford to pay monthly wages between $110 (about R800) and $170 for a foreign worker.
Residents of the former French colony are torn between the desire to hold on to their comfortable situation and the legal requirement to settle the wages of their foreign employees and let them depart.
"I shall never let go of a woman who has helped me for the past 10 years," said Anissa Mohamed, a housewife in her 60s.