France and the Ivory Coast are at present engaged in the biggest manoeuvres ever held in the African State.
troops load equipment onto plane; tanks and landing craft; helicopters carrying and dropping supplies; aircraft.
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Background: France and the Ivory Coast are at present engaged in the biggest manoeuvres ever held in the African State. They are being held under a joint defence agreement signed between the two countries in 1961.
The manoeuvres are being held between September 11 and 18. In all, 14 French warships and aircraft carriers are being used, together with an amphibious landing force, parachute units and fighter and transport aircraft. The operation is code-named Alligator Three.
The defence agreement says that France may send in troops at the request of her former colony should the colony request them when threatened with aggression.
The 'plot' for this exercise is that the Ivory Coast is assured to have been attacked by one state from the east and one state from the west. There is a "coup" in the state from the east and a friendly regime takes over. The state from the west continues the attack and the Ivory Coast calls on the French for help.
The manoeuvres, which involve 5,000 men, are being watched by observers from Dahomey, Upper Volta, Niger, Togo, Mauritania and the two countries taking part.