A debate on independence for the French territory of the Afars and the Issas took place following a ceremonial opening of parliament in Djibouti on Tuesday (18 November).
GV General Brasarc out of car
CU Guard of honour
SV president Ali Aref Bourhan out of car
CU Guard of honour and President reviewing guard before entering Chamber of Deputies Building (2 shots)
SV Guard of honour (2 shots)
SV PAN from flag to Chamber of Deputies Building
SCU INTERIOR Barket Gourat seated with other members
SCU Assembly being addressed (3 shots)
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Background: A debate on independence for the French territory of the Afars and the Issas took place following a ceremonial opening of parliament in Djibouti on Tuesday (18 November).
In the debate, the President of the Council of Government, Mr. Ali Aref Bourhan, said he wanted independence in stages, with the complete collaboration of France.
President Bourhan said that because the territory had no natural resources, it was important that French financial aid be continued.
He said he would also seek guarantees from France against interference by the territory's big neighbours, Ethiopia and Somalia, before asking for independence.
The President declared that France was no obstacle to independence which could be demanded by a two-thirds majority of the territory's Chamber of Deputies.
Addressing parliament, the territory's representative to the French Senate, Mr. Hamadou Barkat Gourat, called for unity between the Afars and the Issas, the two major ethnic groups in the territory.
He said the Issas were hardly considered as equal citizens while the Afars held all the important posts.
Senator Gourat stated that there was always work for the Afars while large numbers of Isses went unemployed.
The territory, a 23,000 square kilometres (8,500 square miles) enclave of scorched, barren rock and sand, lies at the head of the Gulf of Aden close to the narrow straits leading to the Red Sea.
It is wedged between Ethiopia and Somalia, both of which have laid claim to the territory. One of the attractions is Djibouti, a strategic port.