The french colonial authorities have begun their withdrawal from the tiny Red Sea territory of Afars and Issas, which becomes independent on June 27.
GV French gendarmes dressed in civilian clothes lined up at Djibouti airport
GV Gendarmes with families walking across tarmac and boarding aircraft (7 shots)
GV PAN UP FROM Stationary aircraft TO jet airliner taxiing down runway
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Background: The french colonial authorities have begun their withdrawal from the tiny Red Sea territory of Afars and Issas, which becomes independent on June 27.
SYNOPSIS: The first major pull out was this group of gendarmes and their families, who left the capital, Djibouti, on Thursday (2 June). The French have in the past kept a strong military and police presence in the territory, which is peopled basically by two tribes, the Afars, and the Somali Issas. As a result of an election last month, held at the same time as a referendum in which the people overwhelmingly voted for independence, Mr. Hassan Gouled, a member of the majority Issas tribe, was elected Prime Minister. The territory -- important strategically because it lies at the bottom end or the Red Sea -- is the last French foothold in Africa. France intends to keep a residual military presence, but in the end it will be up to the government of the new state.