President Leopold Senghor announced an amnesty for all of Senegal's political prisoners and said he planned to strengthen the country's military power.
GV gymnasts carrying flags in arena ZOOM INTO CU of President Senghor's portrait
GV gymnasts depicting agricultural theme
GV PAN gymnasts with "long live Senegal" in background
SV President Senghor arriving
SV President Senghor and other officials on reviewing stand
SV TILT FROM aircraft in flight TO members of armed forced marching
GV armoured vehicles on parade.
SV President Senghor looking on
SV troops marching (two shots)
SV Women dancing on beach.
GV AND SV regatta finish (2 shots)
Initials RH/2043 RH/YA/JB/2102
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: President Leopold Senghor announced an amnesty for all of Senegal's political prisoners and said he planned to strengthen the country's military power.
The President was delivering a message to the nation on the occasion of the country's 16th independence anniversary, (Sunday, 4 April).
He said the prisoners, believed to be about a dozen, had already been released and would be able to participate freely in Senegal's political life.
On, about the military plans, the President declared, "it must be known both inside and outside Senegal that in case of aggression we would not flee like hares. We would face the enemy and fight, army and people united."
He said Senegal could not stay with arms folded when anarchy and instability prevailed in Africa, when since the war in Angola, "the world around us has been arming itself."
President Senghor said Senegal would also pursue its policy of peaceful co-existence and step up cooperation with African states, especially its neighbours.
The independence celebrations were marked by a three-hour civil and military parade.
A gymnastic display and a regatta also formed part of the day's celebrations.
The gymnastics display was put on by three thousand school children from the Dakar area, under the direction of seven experts from North Korea.
SYNOPSIS: A gymnastics display put on by 3,000 school children from the Dakar area was one of the highlights of celebrations marking the 16th anniversary of Senegal's independence. The display which was under the direction of seven experts from North Korea was prepared and coordinated by 150 dance instructors, 50 physical education teachers and 21 students from the National Art Institute.
As on previous independence anniversaries, President Leopold Senghor was also on hand this year to review a civil and military parade. The President had earlier announced a full amnesty for all political prisoners and says he planned to strengthen the country's military power. He declared that it must be known both inside and outside Senegal that in case of aggression, his army and people would not flee like heres. The President told his people that Senegal could not stay with instability prevailed in Africa.
A regatta organised by fishermen from a number of villages was another way in which the independence anniversary was celebrated. The serenity of the waters on which the regatta was held seemed to reflect the President's declaration that Senegal would also pursue its policy of peaceful coexistence and step up cooperation with African states, especially its neighbours.