Upper Volta's Prime Minister, M. Gerard Ouedraogo, and the Minister of National Defence, M. Daouda?
Upper Volta's Prime Minister, M. Gerard Ouedraogo, and the Minister of National Defence, M. Daouda Traore, attended the parade marking the 12th anniversary of the Army on 1 November in Ouagadougou.
The President of Upper Volta, General Sangoule Lamizana, did not attend this year's parade. It was General Lamizana, then a Lieutenant-Colonel, who led the military in 1966 in its overthrow of the Yameogo government. The military government was responsible for drawing up a new Constitution in April, 1970, which led to the return of quasi-civilian rule in the country. Several Army officers remain in the government, but full civilian rule may return to Upper Volta in 1974, when the Constitution is due to be revised.
The Armed Forces of Upper Volta comprise 1,750 soldiers and an Air Force of 50. There is also a 1,050-strong Gendarmerie and a National Guard of 1,200.
Foreign Diplomats and Upper Volta government officials were among the spectators at the anniversary parade and march-past.
SYNOPSIS: On November the first, the Armed Forces of Upper Volta celebrated their twelfth anniversary. M. Gerard Ouedraogo, the country's Prime Minister, reviewed the troops, with the Minister of National Defence and senior Army Officers. General Sangoule Lamizana, the President of Upper Volta, was absent from the anniversary celebrations. It was General Lamizana who led the military overthrow of the Yameogo government in 1966, following a wave of popular unrest against President Yameogo.
Although a new constitution was put forward in 1970, the Armed Forces still retain some government posts. However, full civilian rule may return to Upper Volta in 1974, when the 1970 Constitution is due for revision.
This year's anniversary celebration was marked by a display by the Armed Forces and the presentation of medals to several Army officers by the Prime Minister.
The Armed Forces of Upper Volta consist of an Army of seventeen-hundred-and-fifty men and a fifty-man Air Force. There is also a Gendarmerie of just over one thousand and a National Guard of some twelve hundred men. Many members of the Armed Forces take part in agricultural work and rural training programmes, as well as supplying men and equipment for major public works and health campaigns.
Foreign diplomats and Upper Volta government officials attended the anniversary celebrations, and watched the military cadets march past.