Madagascar celebrated the 18th anniversary of its independence with a military ceremony on Monday (26 June) at the Omnisports Stadium in the capital of Antananarivo.
LV PAN Mr. Ratsiraka, President of the Republic, arrives and takes salute at guard of honour (2 shots)
GV Crowd cheering
SV President shaking hands with officials
GV Officials looking on
GV Military march past (3 shots)
SV Naval march past
SV Soldiers in battle dress marching past (2 shots)
GV Armoured cars drive past followed by heavy artillery (3 shots)
SV PAN President walking with senior military officers
This period of introducing socialism is widely known in Madagascar as its "second independence". The armed forces, of which President Ratsiraka is a member, are an important source of power in the country, which saw a period of political turmoil between 1972 and 1975 with six governments and five Heads of State, one of whom was assassinated.
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Background: Madagascar celebrated the 18th anniversary of its independence with a military ceremony on Monday (26 June) at the Omnisports Stadium in the capital of Antananarivo.
SYNOPSIS: President Didier Ratsiraka has helped take Madagascar from a liberal to a Marxist state and worked for the transformation of the country's social, economic and political systems.
In December 1975, Madagascar voted in a referendum for a democratic republic based on the principles contained in a "Little Red Book of Madagascar" inspired largely from Marxism, Maoism and the thoughts of North Korean leader Kim II-Sung. Formerly a French colony, it became an autonomous state within the French community in October 1958. The country achieved full independence on June 26th, 1960.
The up-grading of the military continues, with 60 per cent of the equipment being upgraded since President Ratsiraka took over as Head of State in 1975. Army regiments are being stationed in all areas of the country and have recently included women in their ranks. A message from the Foreign Affairs Minister of North Korea, Mr. Ho Dam said that "Madagascar, under the correct leadership of President Ratsiraka had made strong progress on the way to socialism."