• Short Summary

    Forty military vehicles have been presented to the Dahomey Armed forces by France.

    The vehicles were?

  • Description

    Forty military vehicles have been presented to the Dahomey Armed forces by France.

    The vehicles were handed over at a ceremony in Cotonou on Friday (17 December) at a military parade attended by President Maga.

    SYNOPSIS: An important military parade in Dahomey. It took place in Cotonou on Friday, when France presented Dahomey with forty modern military vehicles. Arriving for the parade--Dahomey's President Maga. The vehicles were presented to Dahomey as part of a cooperation agreement with France.

    Before the official ceremony, President Maga inspected a guard of honour. Military leaders in Dahomey viewed the occasion as one of the most important events of 1971--and all of the Army's senior officers were present. Dahomey has one of the smaller armies in West Africa: it numbers about two thousand, two hundred and fifty men. Each year, the Dahomey Government spends about an eighth of the national budget on defence. This means the armed forces receive about 1099 million CFA francs (GBP1,850,000) a year.

    Handing over the equipment was the French Ambassador to Dahomey, M. Fernand Delamare.

    The formal speeches over, the Ambassador and the President sealed the presentation with a handshake.

    Then the two men proceeded on a formal inspection of the new equipment. The forty vehicles include a variety of military hardware. There are small trucks and lorries--as well as a selection of modern armoured vehicles. Some of the vehicles are tracked--others are mounted with machine guns. Included in the French consignment are two ambulances--as well as a self-equipped mobile army workshop. The vehicles are worth about 86 million CFA france (GBP120,000).

    Only a few days before the handover of the vehicles there came news of another agreement between France and Dahomey. This will provide French aid to Dahomey to the value of 250-million CFA france (GBP357,000). At the signing of that agreement a Dahomey cabinet minister observed that his country was anxious to continue its own development schemes and would call on French old only in cases of extreme necessity.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
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