West African - and in the Benin Republic, formerly Dahomey, President Mathieu Kerekou has reviewed a military parade marking the "People's Armed Forces Day".
LVS and CU: Benin Republic President Kerekou arrives at Armed Forces Day parade in Cotonou, salutes flag, and inspects guard. (4 shots)
LV: officers seated in Stand.
LV: band march past
SV: colours paraded past.
SV: troops march past
SV: officers watch
CU PAN: Kerekou and Interior Minister Lieutenant Martin Azonhihe.
CU: women soldiers march past.
CU: Ministers of Equipment Lt-Col. Richard Rodriquez watches parade. (2 shots)
CU and BV: troops march past: (2 shots)
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Background: West African - and in the Benin Republic, formerly Dahomey, President Mathieu Kerekou has reviewed a military parade marking the "People's Armed Forces Day".
SYNOPSIS: Lieutant-Colonel Kerekou, who took power in a military coup four years ago, has recently decided to re-organise the structure of the armed forces. He announced his decision at Tuesday's (26 October) parade in Cotonou, the nation's capital.
The "people's Armed Forces Day" is held on the anniversary of the coup which put President Kerekou and his officers into power. Their's was the sixth coup in the history of the country since it received independence from France as the Republic of Dahomey in 1960. The country's political, troubles began before independence. During their colonial administration, the French used Dahomey as an 'intellectual warehouse' - - developing the country's education manpower to its other colonies. But after achieving their own independence, most of the former colonies curbed immigration, and Dahomey was left with a surplus of highly - qualified personnel. The result was massive unemployment, and a civil service expansion to try and cope with the surplus -- resulting in an administration out of all proportion to the nation's resources. The unrest which followed led to the nation's succession of uprisings, and the present military regime.
Announcing the restructuring of the armed forces, which put the various units more directly under his control, President Kerekou asked the troops to follow what he called the success of the nation'.