The army in Upper Volta, which rules the country, celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of its founding with an honours ceremony in Ouagadougou, the capital, on Monday (November 1).
GV AND SV Crowd at anniversary parade rally in Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (2 shots)
SV PAN AND MVs President Sangoule Lamizana arrives at rally and salutes flag (3 shots)
SV Guard of honour
SV PAN Lamizana shaking hands with line of military officers
SVs Soldiers receiving medals
CU French military officer looking on
SV Soldier receives medal
GVs Military band and soldiers march past as crowd watch (4 shots)
GV Army cadets march past
SVs Band playing and Lamizana driven away
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Background: The army in Upper Volta, which rules the country, celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of its founding with an honours ceremony in Ouagadougou, the capital, on Monday (November 1).
SYNOPSIS: This year's ceremony was as austere as last year's -- when the traditional grand parade was cancelled as part of a national economy drive. President Sangoule Lamizana, an army general who sized power in January 1966, presided over the ceremony, attended as usual by members of the foreign diplomatic corps and a number of the country's high-ranking civilians.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of medals to members of the army, including ordinary soldiers and 50 officers. Later, Defence Minister General Baba Sy addressed the gathering -- calling on the people of the Upper Volta to associate the military anniversary with the country's moral happiness and economic well-being. He was persuading individuals to contribute towards the well-being of society, and the forces of such integration had already started, he said.
Since the army took over, military service has been compulsory. It lasts for 18 months. The armed forces number a little over 2,000, including a small air force. There are another 2,500 in the gendarmerie and National Guard.
The military government had a brief absence from power for three years when it allowed the election of a civilian government under President later reinstated full military rule after disagreements with his civilian prime minister.