Battalions of the last paratroopers to leave the former Portuguese African territory of Angola before independence arrived home by ship in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on Sunday (23 November).
GV Ship "Niassa" at dockside (3 shots)
GV Troops with guns ready to disembark (3 shots)
GV Crowd including left-wing troops on quayside
GV Banner and crowd on harbour building (2 shots)
GV Troops cordoning off passageway (3 shots)
GV Troops down gangplank with belongings (4 shots)
GV ZOOM IN Troops disembarking (2 shots)
Initials BB/000 EW/PN/BB/0335
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Battalions of the last paratroopers to leave the former Portuguese African territory of Angola before independence arrived home by ship in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on Sunday (23 November).
Military security was tight in Lisbon's dockland area as the troops prepared to disembark. Army commanders feared that other left-wing troops would attempt to "incite" the homecomers to disaffection.
The landing was held up for some time as regimental officers cleared a way through the waiting crowds of relatives and soldiers. Left-wing troops and civilians attempted to persuade the paratroopers to disembark immediately...but to no avail.
Eventually a passageway was cleared and the homecomers made their way down the gangplank, carrying their weapons and belongings.
The majority of the troops stationed in Angola just prior to independence on 11 November had already arrived home by air.
Increasing activity among left-wing troops--including many who served in former African territories--has given rise to great disquiet among moderate sections in Portugal.
Earlier this week, a refusal by certain military leaders to protect the government caused a walk out. Their action forced the country's supreme ruling body, the Revolutionary Council, to step in.
After a 14-hour meeting, they announced new measures which appear to compromise between the moderate three-party and military coalition government of Admiral Juan Pinheiro de Azevedo and the extremist military factions.
However, the moderates' demands for the ousting of General Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho-one of the country's leading left-wing military personalities--from his posts as head of the internal security forces (Copcon) and commander of Lisbon military region were only partially successful. Although replaced as regional commander by the more moderate Brigadier Vasco Lourenco, he retains charge of Copcon and has been appointed to head "a project for the alliance of the people and the Armed Forces Movement (MFA)".