A military parade highlighting the Seychelles National Day celebrated on June 29, the day the island nation got its independence in 1976 from Britain, took place on Friday.
This year’s special guest at the ceremony was the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and First Lady Jeanette Kagame. President Kagame is on a state visit to Seychelles from June 28 to July 2.
For the second time in a row, the Seychelles’ beautiful capital of Victoria, hosted the prestigious event to mark 47 years since the island nation got its independence.
This year the Seychelles’ National Anthem was played by the National Band and 50 youth accompanied by a 21-gun salute.
Following the arrival of the guest of honour, President Kagame, and the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, the parade started marching from Palm Street.
Once again, the parade, which for many years marched on the tracks of the stadium ‘Stad Linite’, made its way to the centre of Seychelles’ capital Victoria at the Unity Monument, to be greeted by cheering crowds with waving flags.
The customary Military Parade had 23 platoons of the Seychelles Police Force, the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency and youth organisations falling under the Seychelles National Youth Council. The parade also included platoons from foreign military forces, namely the United Kingdom, the Indian Navy, and the Reunion-based Armed Forces in the Southern Indian Ocean (FAZSOI).
The platoons marched along Constitution Avenue passing in front of the ‘Lavwa Lanasyon’ [Voice of the Nation] monument and proceeded towards Liberty Monument. After saluting the President, the platoons marched up to the International Conference Centre (ICCS) car park.
As part of the celebration, there a performance of well-known veteran Seychellois artist John Wirtz with his ever-popular song ‘Desann pou Lendepandans’ [Come down for the Independence].
In addition, this year, there were floats from 25 districts showing off aspects of their rich history and culture in a display of colours and vibrancy.
The ceremony ended with a performance of the Moutya, a Seychelles traditional dance added to UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage in December 2021.