• Short Summary

    The ten-day visit to Congo Kinshasa of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola has been proceeding amid scenes of vivid popular acclamation.

  • Description

    The ten-day visit to Congo Kinshasa of King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola has been proceeding amid scenes of vivid popular acclamation.

    It has included a wide variety of engagements - among them the christening of General Mobutu's infant son, a gala dinner in Kinshasa, a trip to the hydro-electric power station being built at Inga, and an inspection of the Military Academy at Kitona.

    The day of the great gala state dinner in Kinshasa began on a more intimate note with the christening of General Mobutu's eighth child; little Michel Mathieu was carried to the font on the arms of Queen Fabiola, while his brothers and sisters watched the ceremony. King Baudouin was among the distinguished gathering.

    Minister Umba-di-Lutete and his wife were the hosts at the state dinner the same evening. It was a glittering occasion, attended by state, diplomatic and civic dignitaries, and it was marked by important speeches given by the two heads of state. General Mobutu paid tribute to Belgium's past contribution to his country's history and welcomed the revival of mutual co-operation. King Baudouin spoke of Belgium's and Europe's obligations towards Congo-Kinshasa, and praised General Mobutu's guidance under which his country had once again been place in a position to expand and prosper. He said that technical assistance to Congo-Kinshasa proposed a toast to the people of Belgium and to their royal family, and King Baudouin reciprocated with a toast to the president and people of Congo Kinshasa.

    A rousing welcome awaited the two Heads of state and their wives at Inga, where they inspected the site on which a new hydro-electric power station -first envisaged by the Belgians, but finally decided upon by President Mobutu in 1967 - is taking shape. They were received by the Governor of the Central Province Mr. Kaniki; they met the engineers and builders in charge; the Belgian royal couple were presented with gifts fashioned by local craftsmen. The President of the National Electricity Company, Mr. Faustin Nzaza, was their guide on a conducted tour of the site. When completed, the Inga power station will supply electricity to Kinshasa and the entire region surrounding it; its output will equal the total capacity of the European Common Market countries.

    At the Military Academy at Kitona, the cadets passed in review before the royal and precedential party. This Academy was founded by President Mobutu. Among its staff are Belgian technical instructors. The commander and his aides were obviously proud of their institution, named "The Cradle of the National Army of Congo-Kinshasa."

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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