• Short Summary

    The new state of Djibouti, which became independent on Sunday (26 June) was admitted to the Organisation of African Unity on Monday (27 June).

  • Description

    The new state of Djibouti, which became independent on Sunday (26 June) was admitted to the Organisation of African Unity on Monday (27 June). Sources quoted by Reuters news agency said that although the Djibouti representative had not yet arrived at the OAU ministerial council meeting in Libreville, Gabon, the Republic had been admitted in principle. The Secretary General of the Arab League also announced on Monday that Djibouti had formally asked to join the organisation as its 22nd member. These moves followed independence celebrations in Djibouti which local observers described as "less than joyous".

    The new government of Djibouti is pledged to democratic rule and "positive neutrality and non-alignment" in foreign policy." Somalia has already recognised the fledging Republic and sent representatives to the independence celebrations. A delegation from Ethiopia was also present but, according to Reuters, left the platform before speeches by President Gouled And French Co-operation Minister Robert Galley. The new Republic has been welcomed in messages of congratulation or newspaper articles from Britain, Iraq, Iran and Vietnam.

    SYNOPSIS: Commanding the strategic Red Sea oil route from Arab fields to European consumers, the port of Djibouti is virtually the only source of income for the new state. Formerly the French-ruled Territory of the Afars and Issas , the Republic of Djibouti now faces an uncertain future.

    After 115 years of French colonial rule. the Republic came into existence at midnight on Monday. Although delegations from many African and Arab countries attended the ceremonies there were no Heads of State present and the population remained largely unenthusiastic. Numbering only about 250,000 they come from the Afar and Issa tribes.

    the Arab states just across the water are keenly interested in Djibouti's future but it is her left-wing African neighbours Somalia and Ethiopia who pose the biggest threat to the tiny nation's sovereignty.

    Both lay claim to Djibouti and despite the face that the French flag was hauled down at midnight France has agreed to maintain a sizeable military presence in the new republic until a local force can be trained to take over.

    The first President of the Republic of Djibouti is Monsieur Hassan Gouled Aptidon. In his speech of proclamation he paid tribute to "those who have fought for freedom". While the independence celebrations continued it was announced that Saudi Arabia is opening a consulate in Djibouti and has promised an unspecified amount of aid.

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