President Mobutu reviewed a five-hour parade through Kinshasa on Monday (23rd November) in a military review marking the tenth annual National Army Day celebrations of the fifth anniversary of the Third Republic.
President Mobutu reviewed a five-hour parade through Kinshasa on Monday (23rd November) in a military review marking the tenth annual National Army Day celebrations of the fifth anniversary of the Third Republic. President Mobutu brought stability to the strife-torn Congo with a bloodless coup in 1965.
The parade moved along Kinshasa's Boulevard of June 30- the date of Congo-Kinshasa's independence ten years ago, President Mobutu saluted the honour guards and then listened as Colonel Falu, a General Staff Officer, made a brief speech.
In his address, Colonel Falu retraced the history of the Congolese National Army and discussed its importance to the preservation of the nation's peace and prosperity. The Colonel also described some of the army's accomplishments during the years of the Congo's independence.
Flanked by generals, the 40-year-old President -- elected to a further seven-year term earlier this month -- then took the salute. Heading the march-past was the new presidential cavalry escort, with mounted bugles and drums. President Mobutu presented the unit's colours to the escort commander, Captain Ngomba.
The escort was followed by army motorised units, the gendarmerie paratroopers artillery and motorised units. Overhead the Congolese Air Force flew in varying formations as the army exhibited its communications vehicles, road and bridge-building equipment and anti-aircraft batteries.
After the parade, President Mobutu opened a military exhibition at Fikin. Accompanied by a number of military and civilian officials, he cut the tape officially opening the exhibition and then inspected military equipment and aircraft.
Festivities over the weekend marking the Third Republic included the inauguration of the country's first motorway, a tourist road bordering the rapids of the River Congo and a large covered market.
The celebrations reached their climax on Tuesday (24 November) when the President presented his long-promised balance sheet on his regime.