Finnish troops in the United Nation's peacekeeping force on Cyprus on Friday (21 October) held a farewell parade in their camp near Nicosia.
MV: Finnish troops march on to parade ground and halt (3 shots)
MV: General Matti Sarmanne, Finnish Chief-of-Staff reviews troops (3 shots)
MV: dignitaries and soldiers look on as Brigadier H.M. Tillotson presents medals to Finnish troops (5 shots)
GV: troops march off parade ground
MV: Finnish troops stand guard at memorial
MVs: Finnish troops march to memorial (2 shots)
MVs: guard of honour look on as General Sarmanne unveils memorial (2 shots)
Some member of the Finnish contingent were being transferred to the UN Emergency Force in Sinai. Others were returning home. A small number of the battalion were to stay on in Cyprus, working in staff appointments at headquarters and with the Military Police Company.
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Background: Finnish troops in the United Nation's peacekeeping force on Cyprus on Friday (21 October) held a farewell parade in their camp near Nicosia. The Finns had contributed soldiers to the Cyprus force since April 1964.
SYNOPSIS: This farewell parade was both a proud and sad occasion for the Finnish troops. They had been part of the U.S. force since its inception, and from the time they sent their initial battalion of 600 troops early in 1964, more than 10,000 Finnish personnel had served on the Mediterranean island.
Their top soldier was present -- General Matti Sarmanne, Chief of Staff of the Finnish Ministry of Defence. The Finnish contingent comprised volunteer regular officers and NCO's and men from their military reserves.
The Acting Commander of the United Nations Force, Brigadier H.M. Tillotson, was in charge at the parade. He presented UN peace keeping medals to a further 57 Finnish soldiers. In a message, United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim said Finnish troops in Cyprus had always acted with firmness, complete impartiality and, when needed, bravery.
The farewell ended at a new stone and concrete memorial to the 12 Finnish soldiers who had died in Cyprus, one of them killed in action. When General Sarmanne unveiled the memorial, Finland's major role in Cyprus was over.