President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire presided over a ceremony this week in which two Zairean and 32 French officers were decorated.
SV Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko and military personnel walk to vantage point
GV Paratroopers dropping from aircraft and landing (3 shots)
SV Paratroopers collecting packs and gear after landing and carrying them away (3 shots)
MV Colonel Girard presenting medal to Zairean officer
MV Zairean First State Commissioner Mpinga Kasenda presenting medal to French officer
MV General Girard presenting medal to Zairean officer
CU Kasenda awarding medal to French officers (2 shots)
MV General Babia presents awards to French officers (3 shots)
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Background: President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire presided over a ceremony this week in which two Zairean and 32 French officers were decorated.
SYNOPSIS: The President was accompanied by senior army officers when he arrived for the ceremony, which tool place at the Air Force training centre near the capital, Kinshasa.
Before the presentation began, members of the second company of the 311th paratroop battalion performed parachute jumps for the President. The paratroopers have been trained by French officers.
Two Zairean officers -- Colonel Bosange and Major Mayele -- wore awarded French decorations. The presentations were made by the head of the French military mission, Colonel Girard.
Zairean First State Commissioner Mpinga Kasenda decorated French officers who took part in the training of the 311th battalion.
Colonel Bosange was decorated for his bravery in remaining at hi post during the rebel incursion in May into Zaire's Shaba province. And Major Mayele received his decoration for recapturing Kolwezi airport from the rebels. General Eluki Monga Aungu, Secretary of State at the Department of National Defence and Security, stressed the importance of establishing a strong army in the face of what he called "the Soviet ambitions in Africa".
He said the Zairean armed forces were determined to defend national independence and sovereignty at all costs.