French Somaliland: Victory for Trouble

Even before the election returns were complete, unruly mobs began to surge through the streets of Djibouti, the sun-bleached and impoverished capital of French Somaliland. Then they heard the news: by a majority of 61%, Somaliland's 39,000 voters (out of a population of 125,000) had opted to maintain the country's ties with France, thus defeating a move to independence. Somali tribesmen, who wanted to break away from France, threw up barricades of sidewalk slabs and bedposts, began hurling rocks with the aid of crude slingshots. As their husbands lit oil fires that...

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