The Chamber of Deputies of the Territory of the Afars and Issas reacted angrily to calls made by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) meeting in Addis Ababa, that France grant the territory independence.
GV Djibouti establishers (2 shots)
LV & SV Chamber of Deputies building (2 shots)
SV Military guard exterior
GV INTERIOR.. conference room and deputies(2 shots)
SCU Deputy speaks (Ali Aref Bourhan)
SV Deputies listen (7 shots)
SCU Deputy speaks
SV Deputies vote
Initials ES. 1.52 ES. 2.05
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Background: The Chamber of Deputies of the Territory of the Afars and Issas reacted angrily to calls made by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) meeting in Addis Ababa, that France grant the territory independence.
Specking at the summit conference OAU Secretary-General Mr. Nzo Ekan Ngaki called on France to leave the territory as soon as practicable. The Afars and Issas parliament met in special session on Friday (1 June) to discuss Mr. Ngaki's remarks.
The outcome of the Assembly debate was the overwhelming approval of a government resolution which both condemned Mr. Ngaki's sail specifically and condemned the OAU in general, while reaffirming Afars and Issas' desire to remain part of France. Voting on the resolution was thirty votes in favour, two abstentions and none against.
The territory of the Afars and Issas (formerly French Somaliland) has found itself unwillingly embroiled in the present border dispute between Ethiopia and Somalia, who both surround and have interests in the French territory. Somali interests result from the large numbers of Somalis who live in Djibouti, forming a majority of the city's population. Ethiopian interest stem from the role Djibouti as the main outlet and point of entry for Ethiopian trade. Political observers believe that, in the event of a French evacuation of the territory, a bitter struggle would result between Somalia and Ethiopia for control, aggravating the already poor relations that exist between the two countries.
As far as the government of the territory is concerned, the people have already indicated their feelings about independence. A referen??? held in 1987 resulted in a majority in favour of retaining the French ???. However, voting tended to follow the ethnic division in the country with the Issas, who regard Somalia as their ancestral home, voting for independence, while the Afars voted against.
Friday's vote in the Chamber of Deputies is interesting in that the vote did not follow these lines. There are six Issa deputies in the chamber, of whom four must have voted in favour of the government's resolution while the remaining two merely abstained.
Whatever France's long-term intentions, the political leadership of Afars and Issas made it clear that they are quite happy to remain France's only remaining possession in Africa.