About 30 Somali students demonstrated outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Sunday (8 February).
GV Arab League building TILT DOWN TO students demonstrating outside
GV INT Conference room delegates seated around table (3 shots)
GV Abdul Ahad Gamal Eldine speaking and applauded by delegates
ARAB LEAGUE BUILDING WITH SOMALI STUDENTS DEMONSTRATING WITH PLACARDS: (INTERIOR) CONFERENCE ROOM ARAB LEAGUE DELEGATES SEATED: ARAB INFORMATION UNION SECRETARY GENERAL ABDUL AHAD GAMAL ELDINE SPEAKING.
Initials BB/1645 TA/AH/BB/1700
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: About 30 Somali students demonstrated outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Sunday (8 February). They were demanding that the French leave the Territory of Afars and Issas, the last French colony in Africa.
The students carried slogans in Arabic reading "No bases....no conditions", and "is France rebuilding the Bastille in Djibouti?" They ended their one hour demonstration after handing a statement to the League's Assistant Secretary General Sayed Nofal.
Relations between france and Somalia have been strained since last Wednesday (4 February) when French legionnaires killed about six Somalian guerrillas who were holding 31 French servicemen's children on a bus.
The statement handed to Mr. Nofal called for full independence for the territory, the withdrawal of all French troops, the return of political refugees and the release of all detainees.
It also asked for general elections organised by the United Nations, the Arab League and the Organisation of African Unity and demanded an end to "French military attacks against the Somali Republic".
The Arab League delegates had originally met to discuss ways of using the information media to further the Arab cause. A proposal for holding symposiums to offset "the Zionist campaign" against be United Nations' decision that Zionism was a form of racism was one of the items on the agenda. The seminars are expected to be held in Egypt, Algeria and Belgrade, Yugoslavia.