Portuguese troops have been pouring back from Guinea Bissau this week following the signing in Algiers of an historic agreement granting the West African territory independence.
GV Soldiers in hanger collecting luggage and going through customs
GV EXTERIOR soldier interviewed
CU ZOOM OUT GV troops rejoicing (PORTUGUESE AND ENGLISH SPEECH)
"He says he's very happy to be back in Portugal and that all Africans should have the right to self-determination as should every country in the world. He says the Africans have been slaved by the whites so he's very happy not only to return but that Guinea Bissau is going to be independent in the next few months."
Initials OS/2314 OS/2320
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Background: Portuguese troops have been pouring back from Guinea Bissau this week following the signing in Algiers of an historic agreement granting the West African territory independence.
On Tuesday (27 August) hundreds of Portuguese troops were flown back to Lisbon in a massive airlift that will continue for at least a week. They were part of a force of 10,000 troops stationed in Guinea Bissau.
As news of the airlift went out, relatives flocked to the air base to welcome the troops home. But for security reasons, the relatives were not allowed inside the air base while the troops were going through customs. As soon as the soldiers stepped outside, they were mobbed by girls and mothers.
The troops - almost to a man - agreed that independence was the best thing for Guinea Bissau and that white domination should end throughout Africa. This film includes an interview with one of the soldiers. His comments are translated on film and are transcribed here.
The historic agreement granting Guinea Bissau independence from 10 September, was signed on Monday (26 August) by Portuguese Foreign Minister Mario Soares. Before leaving Algiers, Dr. Soares described the agreement as "a turning point in Portugal's history".
The agreement will hand over complete control of Guinea Bissau - Portugal's oldest African Colony - to the liberation movement which has fought a guerrilla war there for 13 years - the African Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC).