The fourth Congress of the Fraternal Union of War Veterans from French-speaking Africa and Madagascar opened in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on Thursday (26 September).
GV Abidjan street scene
GV Band leads veterans in march (3 shots)
SV&GV Marchers along road (3 shots)
GV ZOOM IN to war memorial
GV Marchers arrive at memorial
SV Officials laying wreath (2 shots)
GV Officials standing in front of memorial
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Background: The fourth Congress of the Fraternal Union of War Veterans from French-speaking Africa and Madagascar opened in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast on Thursday (26 September).
In the morning, about 4,000 war veterans marched through the streets of the city to the war memorial where commemorative wreathes were laid.
Delegates to the Congress came from Mali, the Congo, Niger, Mauritania, Dahomey, Chad, Togo, Upper Volta, Senegal, Cameroon, and France.
The Congress was opened in the afternoon by the Minister of State, M. Auguste Denise, who represented President Felix Houphouet-Boigny. The session was chaired by the Ivorian Minister of Defence and Civil Service M.M' Bahia Ble Kouadio.
One of the main concerns of the congress was the question of Article 71 of the 1960 French Finance Law. Under this, material assistance is denied war veterans from French-speaking African countries who served France. The War Veterans Union is seeking the repeal of this law.
The French Ambassador to the Ivory Coast, M. Jaques Raphael-Leygues addressed the delegates and said positive action in this regards could be expected from the French Government in the near future.