President Mobutu Sese Seko reviewed his specially-trained eighteen to twenty-year-old troops on Wednesday (20 June) before they left to replace the present Pan-African Peacekeeping Force in the province of Shaba.
SV President Mobutu Sese Seko leaving aircraft and being greeted and presented with bouquet.
SV & CU American military official leaving plane.
CU & SV President inspecting troops before their departure. (4 SHOTS)
CU & SV President continuing inspection watched by American.
SV, GV & LV Troops passing in review before the President. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: President Mobutu Sese Seko reviewed his specially-trained eighteen to twenty-year-old troops on Wednesday (20 June) before they left to replace the present Pan-African Peacekeeping Force in the province of Shaba. The 2,500 Moroccan, Senegalese and Gabonese soldiers have been guarding the Zaire province of Shaba, formerly Katanga, since the invasion in May last year by rebels trying to seize the mineral-rich province from Zaire.
SYNOPSIS: President Mobutu was presented with flowers as he arrived at the Kitona Military Base, accompanied by American and Belgian military chiefs. He had announced last month (May) that the peacekeeping force withdrawal would be phased over a three-month period.
According to diplomatic sources, the French and Belgians have been training this young army who will depart around July the first. The sources also said that the Chinese have promised to train a commando brigade in Kisanga, but this programme is not yet under way. These young Zaireans have just undergone twelve months of intensive training.
Diplomatic sources report that a fresh incursion by the rebels into Shaba seems remote. The majority of the rebels are thought to be deep in Angola where they are fighting for President Agostinho Neto against the UNITA forces. The remaining one thousand are said to be based in north-western Zambia, disorganised and poorly armed.