Two parades in Freetown were among the highlights of the celebrations of the tenth Anniversary of Independence in Sierra Leone.
GV Schoolboys march past President.
Stevens on dias, GV Crowd.
GV Schoolgirls march past. (2 shots)
SV Schoolboys march past.
SV PAN President drives by cheering crowds.
GV Guard at attention.
SV President inspects Guard of Honour.
SV Sailors at attention.
SV Armed troops in crowd.
SV President on rostrum PAN TO March past.
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Background: Two parades in Freetown were among the highlights of the celebrations of the tenth Anniversary of Independence in Sierra Leone. The first, on Wednesday 26 April was comprised mainly of school children and youth groups. The second, was Thursday 27 April, a full military march past of the various units of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces. Presiding over the Independence festivities was President and Prime Minister, Dr Siaka Stevens who, only a week earlier on April 19 had declared the country a Republic and, with the approval of Parliament, been sworn in as Executive President two days later.
Dr. Stevens has been criticised for calling in troops from neighbouring Guinea after an abortive coup last September -- and some of his critics have accused him of establishing a "Dictatorship". One such condemnation came from Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the United States, Mr John Akar, who resigned his office publicly on April 22. This story, with a strong quote from Mr. Akar, was serviced by Visnews on April 23 as production number 4461/71. USA: SIERRA LEONE AMBASSADOR SAYS HE RESIGNED BECAUSE PRIME MINISTER STEVENS DICTATORIAL POWERS COULD TURN THE COUNTRY INTO COMMUNIST STATE.