The Ivory Coast celebrated the 17th anniversary of its independence with a parade in the capital of Abidjan on Wednesday (7 December).
SV EXTERIOR: President Felix Houphouet-Boigny riding in jeep in Abidjan.
SV: flags on display
GV AND SV: bands march past (2 shots)
GVs: crowd applaud as troops march past (2 shots)
SV AND GV: President looks on as armed forces march past.
SV AND GV: visiting dignitaries watch as mobile troops take salute (2 shots)
GV: parade past crowds.
SV PAN: march past (3 shots)
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Background: The Ivory Coast celebrated the 17th anniversary of its independence with a parade in the capital of Abidjan on Wednesday (7 December). The salute at the march past was taken by President Felix Houphouet-Boigny.
SYNOPSIS: President Houphouet-Boigny has been the nation's leader ever since independence from France was achieved in 1960.
The parade led by military bands took more than two hours to pass the reviewing stand. Besides detachments of the armed forces, there were groups representing all aspects of the country's cultural and economic life.
For the people of the Ivory Coast, President Houphouet-Boigny is a father figure. It is several years since there has been any threat to the internal security of the country.
The celebrations were watched by representatives from abroad, The president, in his anniversary message, said his government would continue to oppose racialist regimes and he called again for an end to the intrigues of the major powers.
On home affairs, the President said the economic future of the country was good, and he said the anniversary celebrations should be celebrated by the people as a 'renewal' of their faith in the country and an expression of confidence in their destiny.