INTRODUCTION: The President of Somalia, General Mohammed Siad Barre, marked the 12th anniversary of his government with an amnesty for 5,009 prisoners and a large civilian and military parade in Mogadishu.
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA (VISNEWS - BOB DIETZ)
TOP GV & SV Standard bearers at head of military parade. (2 SHOTS)
TV Armed cadets march past
TV Soldiers marching past. (2 SHOTS)
GV & TV Women soldiers marching past. (2 SHOTS)
GV Naval contingent
SV Missiles on carriers
SV Rocket launchers
SV PAN Army trucks drawing field artillery
TV PAN Civilians in parade
Background: INTRODUCTION: The President of Somalia, General Mohammed Siad Barre, marked the 12th anniversary of his government with an amnesty for 5,009 prisoners and a large civilian and military parade in Mogadishu.
SYNOPSIS: President Siad reviewed this military parade amid tight security precautions. Double rows of presidential guards lined the parade route past the presidential grandstand. The military display was performed by soldiers carrying rifles without ammunition clips. The intensive security arrangements were said to have been prompted by President Sadat's assassination in Egypt. In a speech on Somali radio earlier, General Siad paid tribute to the late President of Egypt, saying that his death had left a great void.
Most of the troops reviewed by the President were carrying out-of-date weapons. The parade was overflown by antiquated Soviet planes. The review reflected Somalia's previous friendship with the Soviets in 1977, when Moscow switched its support to the military leadership in Ethiopia, half-way through the Ethiopian-Somalian war over the Ogaden region. In his speech, General Siad castigated the Kremlin and stated that its main aim was to perpetuate hostilities in this part of the world. The military parade finished with a review of motorised units and some Soviet-built missiles.
The civilian aspect of the parade was accentuated. Civic, educational, government institutions and cultural groups took greater prominence than the military in the three-four display. To the further emphasise the civilian atmosphere, the President opened about 20 small development projects.
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Source: REUTERS - BOB DIETZ