French naval ships and submarines sailed into the Indian Ocean port of Djibouti, capital of the French-controlled territory of the Afars and Issas on Saturday (28 February) to reinforce the French naval presence in the area.
GV Helicopter carrier coming into port
GV battle ship arriving in harbour
SV PAN ship coming into harbour
GV PAN ship moored next to submarine
GV Submarine crew standing on deck PAN TO GV submarine.
GV 2 submarine moored alongside ship.
GV fleet in port (2 shots)
Initials RH/1620 RH/JA/AH/1630
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Background: French naval ships and submarines sailed into the Indian Ocean port of Djibouti, capital of the French-controlled territory of the Afars and Issas on Saturday (28 February) to reinforce the French naval presence in the area.
The arrival of the French Fleet, including the helicopter carrier, Jeanne d'Arc, and the escort ship Forbin, is apparently designed to counter an alleged build up of Soviet naval forces in the Indian Ocean.
France recently agreed in principle to grant independence to the Territory of Afars and Issas, but it wants to retain the use of the port Djibouti as a naval base.
The French government has said that its continued presence in Djibouti is essential if the Territory is to remain independent of the neighbouring countries of Somalia and Ethiopia.
The French also claim that the presence of their naval forces in Djibouti is needed to counter the alleged Soviet build up in the Somalia port of Berbera.
The French President, M. Valery Giscard D'Estaing, has recently held talks with the Territory's Chief Minister, Mr. Ali Aref Bourhan. Mr. Bourhan is known to favour the continued French military presence in the Territory, even after independence is granted.
The talks mark the drawing to a close of nearly a quarter of a century of colonial rule over the Territory, a land of more than nine thousand square miles of barren rock and sandy enclose on the Horn of Africa.
The oil upheaval of 1973, the alleged increase in Soviet naval forces in Somalia, the revolution in Ethiopia and the reopening of the Suez Canal put Djibouti into the forefront of African and Indian Ocean policies. French control of the Territory has been criticised by both the United Nations and the Organisation of African Unity.
SYNOPSIS: French naval ships sailed into the port of Djibouti, the capital of the French controlled African Territory of Afars and Issas, on Saturday. The ships included the escort vessel, Forbin.
The arrival of the French ships is apparently designed to counter an alleged build up of Soviet naval forces in the neighbouring Somalia port of Berbera. The recent success of the Soviet backed forces of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola----known as the MPLA-----is also believed to have influenced the decision to send more French battle ships to Djibouti.
The French government recently agreed in principle to grant independence to the Territory of Afars and Issas. However, the French made it clear that they wished to retain the use of the port of the port of Djibouti as a naval base, even after independence was granted.
The French President, M. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, recently held talks with the territory's Chief Minister, Mr. Ali Aref Bourhan. The French government claimed that its continued presence is Djibouti was essential if the Territory was to retain independence.