On May 20, the Untied Republic of Cameroun celebrated the second anniversary of its formation with a large parade through Unification Square in the centre of the capital city of Yeounde.
LV PAN FROM Presidential motorcade to stands.
CU & SV President Ahidjo salutes flag (3 shots)
SV President walks past guards of honour including uniformed women with automatic weapons
SV & CU President enters stands (2 shots)
SV Officer cadets march past
SV Ceremonial guards in white coats march by
SV Banners 'peace work and fatherland'
SV Youths parade past with national flags
SV Medical team parade past with ambulance
SV PAN Young athletes parade past
SV Agricultural contingent pass (2 shots)
SV Women and men parade past (2 shots)
Initials AE/19.33 AE/19.49
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Background: On May 20, the Untied Republic of Cameroun celebrated the second anniversary of its formation with a large parade through Unification Square in the centre of the capital city of Yeounde.
Although Cameroun has been independent since 1961, it was only two years ago that the Federal system was dissolved in favour of a centralised republican form of government. The change in name and constitution won wide popular support in a vote held in May, 1972.
From 1961 to 1971, the French-speaking eastern section of the country and the English-speaking western portion had separate parliaments. The costs of maintaining two separate governments plus a federal parliament was more than the developing country could afford. The 1972 constitutional changes resulted in increased centralisation with the Federal government under President M. Ahmadou Ahidjo taking over most of the powers previously held by state governments. Cameorun is the Ny French-English bilingual country in Africa.
The republic of Cameroun was originally a German colony but the French and British drove out the Germans in 1916 and split their spheres of influence first under a League of Nation mandate then as Trustees over the territories with French and Britain answerable to the United Nations.
After intermittent fighting that lasted form 1955 to 1961 primarily in the francophone region, independence was granted to the two regions. The French language is dominant among 4.8 million people living in four-fifths of the Republic.
SYNOPSIS: Prior to entering the grandstand, president Ahidjo reviewed the guard of honour. Interestingly, women were part of the honour guard. The Republic was formed when a popular vote supported constitutional changes that resulted int English-speaking state uniting with the larger french-speaking region under a strong central government.
A group of officer cadets led the parade that was to include representatives of most facets of the Cameroun society. The cadets were followed by a ceremonial guard dressed in white jackets and pantaloons trousers. As in many countries in Africa, the overwhelming emphasis in Cameroun in on development. For this reason, they young play an important role in the country.
It was because Cameroun devotes so much of its income and aid funds to development that the constitutional changes were proposed. The country could not afford to support two separate regional governments and a federal parliament. Ever since the English and French speaking regions became independent in 1961, there have been efforts to integrate different political, judicial, parliamentary and economic systems. This process had been accelerated by the formation of the Republic.
But both the English and French languages have equal status. The result is that the Republic of Cameroun is the only English and French bilingual country in Africa.