The President of the Gabonese Republic, Albert Bernard Bongo, has warned of the danger of a new flare-up over the ownership of three islands disputed by neighbouring Equatorial Guinea.
AERIAL VIEW..disputed island Bagne
SV PAN..military camp on island (2 shots)
AERIAL V..PAN..from island to open sea
LV & SV President Vongo by car for press conference (4 shots)
GV PAN..EXTERIOR..conference building
GV INTERIOR......newsmen seated
LV & CU President Bongo speaking at press conference (5 shots)
SV President stands at end of press conference
Initials ES. 1600 ES. 1625
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Background: The President of the Gabonese Republic, Albert Bernard Bongo, has warned of the danger of a new flare-up over the ownership of three islands disputed by neighbouring Equatorial Guinea.
He told a broadcast press conference in Libreville on Tuesday, (10 October) that the Gabonese Republic would respond to any provocation.
The Gabonese Republic last month accused Equatorial Guinea of occupying the three tiny islands. At the same time, Equatorial Guinea accused the Gabonese Republic of taking over the islands after extending its territorial waters.
President Bongo accused Equatorial Guinea of breaking the settlement reached at Kinshasa last month by launching broadcast attacks on the Gabonese Republic.
SYNOPSIS: This is the island of Bagne - occupied by the Gabonese Republic and which Equatorial Guinea says it will attack, unless the occupation is ended by October the seventeenth. The two counties have been at odds over who owns three islands.
Last month, both countries attended a conference in Kinshasa at which a settlement of the dispute was discussed. At the conference, both the Gabonese Republic and Equatorial Guinea agreed not to inflame the dispute by broadcasting attacks on each other.
But now Equatorial Guinea, according to some reports, has warned that unless the Gabonese Republic evacuates one of the islands concerned - the island of Bagne - by October the seventeenth, Guinea will attack. It was this delicate situation which brought President Bongo of the Gabonese Republic to a news conference last Wednesday.
In Libreville, President Bongo warned of the dangers of a new flare-up over the ownership of the three islands. He said that the Gabonese Republic would respond to any provocation over the issue. President Bongo accused Equatorial Guinea of breaking the settlement reached last month in Kinshasa by broadcasting attacks on his country. He warned: "Any new deterioration in Guinea-Gabonese relations could put the match to the powder." Despite his apparently tough stand, the President stressed that he was ready to settle the dispute by negotiation. He underlined his offer with another warning - "the Gabonese Republic would responds to any provocation," he said.