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General News of Saturday, 16 August 2014

Source: prc.cm

Paul Biya attends in ceremony to mark landing in Provence

President Biya and Chantal Biya joined other world leaders in the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing of allied forces in the South of France during the second World War.

The ceremony was presided over by French President Francois Hollande aboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in Toulon on Friday 15 August 2014.

Those present for the ceremony included 13 African Heads of State, with President Paul Biya sitting on the front row with Francois Hollande and others. In all, 28 countries were present at the ceremony, including 19 from Africa.

In his speech President Francois Hollande paid glowing tribute to the veterans of the landing on 15 August 1944 who fought hard to liberate France from the nazi occupying forces.

The soldiers of varied backgrounds were from Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, the USA, France, Gabon, Guinea, Comoros, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, the CAR, the UK, Senegal, Chad, Togo and Tunisia. After fighting the Germans in Africa, they ensured that the Dragon operation was a success.

President Francois Hollande emphazised the close ties between France and Africa. He then drew a parallel between the liberation of France 70 years ago and the French efforts to show solidarity with the people of the south, Africa and the Middle East.

A spectacular military parade by over 20 naval vessels, with 7 of them from other countries then graced the occasion.

In the evening, President Biya and wife Chantal attended a dinner offered by President Francois Hollande in honour of the heads of delegations in the bowels of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

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