Congolese Detachment Ready For Grandiose Parade

The 160 soldiers, special guests of the Head of State, will march in 12 lines of 12 each with their slow but majestic steps to mark their presence in Cameroon’s 47th National Day

Those who will take part in Cameroon’s 47th National Day celebration at the 20th May Boulevard in downtown Yaounde, will certainly have pleasant surprises with which to feed their eyes. One of such will no doubt be the participation of Congolese Contingent. The 160 soldiers, special guests of the Head of State, are already rehearsing in Yaounde to write their names in bold on the country’s record of celebrating living together.

Upon arrival in Cameroon’s political capital on May 15, the group led by Colonel Kakinda Helebaut got down to work to adapt to the environment and exigencies of the upcoming celebration and to get themselves ready for what promises to be a grandiose parade in front of President Paul Biya and the rest of the attendees.

Barely 24 hours after their arrival, the leader of the Congolese detachment was at the May 20 Boulevard, the theatre of Monday’s activities, to see where march-past begins and where the troops will salute the authorities. In a chat with Cameroon Tribune at the May 20 Boulevard yesterday May 16, 2019, Colonel Kakinda Helebaut said the Congolese contingent of 160 soldiers will march in 12 lines of 12 each plus their four Section leaders and a Unit Commander.

Now well informed of where march-past will begin and where the troops will salute the authorities, the leader of the Congolese army for the feast said all will be well. “With the infor mation now, we will need to adapt it to our system of march-past. With our march-past system, we are slow but majestic contrary to Cameroon soldiers who are rapid in their marching steps. In Congo, we march with our parachutes but since we could not bring them here, we will march with our Opex bags in the place of the parachutes,”

Colonel Kakinda told Cameroon Tribune. While appreciating the Head of State for the honour given Congo Brazzaville through the invitation as special guests for the 47th National Day, the senior military official observed that the reception given them galvanised the troops for a spectacular show on May 20, 2019. “We have been well received from the airport to where we are lodged. Vehicles were put at our disposal and we were led to the hotel.

The reception was indeed great,” he said. Cameroon and Congo, the Colonel added, are two brotherly countries with the same cultures and traditions. “So, we were not surprised with the warm reception given us. We really feel at home. There is just nothing to worry about,” Colonel Kakinda Helebaut said. The conviviality with which he interacted with other top military officials at yesterday’s information reception avenue corroborated his feeling of oneness between Cameroon and Congo Brazzaville, as countries, and the two defence forces.

He could be seen chatting with other military officials, hopefully sharing experiences on what they do and obviously getting more details on how May 20 is celebrated in Cameroon so as to better prepare his group to use their presence in Yaounde to consolidate the fraternal and fruitful bilateral ties. As diverse as the two armies may be in their marching steps, giving the 47th National Day the grandeur it deserves is certainly a common objective.

The build up to the event thus far lends credence to this. Prior to their display on Monday May 20, 2019, the Congolese Contingent, like other participants at the crowd-pulling event, will take part in a general rehearsal billed for tomorrow May 18, 2019 at the ceremonial ground, the May 20 Boulevard.

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