Togo celebrated 10 years of independence last week with a massive parade in the capital, Lome.
Togo celebrated 10 years of independence last week with a massive parade in the capital, Lome. Reviewing the march-past with President Etienne Eyadema were four visiting African heads of state -- President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast, Hamani Diori of Niger, Sangoule Lamizana of Upper Volta and Albert-Bernard Bongo of Gabon.
Troops, students and children were among the contingents passing in review before the heads of state for three-and-a-half hours.
The military units were able to parade their new tanks and half-tracks recently delivered to Togo by France.
Further evidence of the close links maintained with France in the decade following Togo's independence was to be found in the many leading Frenchmen among the guests. They included the Chairman of the European Common Market Overseas Development Group, M. Henri Rochereau, the Secretary-General at the French Presidency for Afro-Malagasy Affairs, M. Jacques Foccart, and a former Mayor of Calais, M. Jacques Vendroux.
M. Vendroux, son-in-law of General de Gaulle, is current President of the European-African Association in the French Parliament. He was in Lome for the "twinning" of the capital with Calais.
The anniversary parade was hailed as symbolic of Togo's decade of progress. Despite periods of political difficulty, the country had achieved an equilibrium which could be held up as a lesson and example to countries plunged into disunity by tribalism and division.