In Somalia, President Mohamed Siad Barre reviewed a massive parade through the streets of Mogadishu on Saturday (21 October) to mark the ninth anniversary of the coup that brought him to power.
GV PAN Mogadishu, Somalia: crowds gathered for ceremony
GV PAN Rocket launchers drive past
GV Armoured Tanks Drive past
SV President Siad Barre watches from rostrum
GV and SV troop march past
GV and SV women troops march past
SV American Ambassador among guests
SV Chinese officials watching ceremony
GV Somali women with agricultural equipment and wearing uniforms march-past (3 shots)
SV portrait of President Barre being carried by Somalian men in native dress
SV Somalis in traditional tribal dress dancing and singing (3 shots)
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Background: In Somalia, President Mohamed Siad Barre reviewed a massive parade through the streets of Mogadishu on Saturday (21 October) to mark the ninth anniversary of the coup that brought him to power. Later, he called on the Soviet Union and Cuba to change their policies in the Horn of Africa. He said their policies were threatening Somalia's security.
SYNOPSIS: The capital was crowded with people who'd turned up to see a display of the country's military power. At one time Soviet backing had given Somalia the strongest army in black Africa. But war in the Ogaden has drained resources.
The Soviets were expelled from Somalia last year by President Barre when they switched their support to Ethiopia, and since then the country--already one of the world's poorest--has suffered both militarily and economically. Soldiers in the parade carried wooden guns and swords.
Around a hundred and twenty thousand people took part in the parade, celebrating the bloodless coup in 1969 when he took control of the country.
The presence of America's Ambassador and a contingent from China emphasized the realignment of Somalia's friendships. Before the Soviet withdrawal, President Barre was unpopular with the West and the Chinese. But in his speech, the President made it clear that there was room for private enterprise in Somalia, including foreign investment.
President Barre also announced an amnesty for nearly three thousand detainees.
Other changes included a promise of a new constitution to be drawn up next year, bringing the country a Parliament for the first time since 1969.