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June 30, 2009

Parades were held all across the country today to commemorate the 49th anniversary of independence.

The main attraction was in Goma where President Joseph Kabila was joined by members of the Government and ambassadors accredited to the DRC to attend a parade. There were no speeches scheduled at the event.

After the parade, President Kabila kicked off an agricultural fair meant to promote peace amongst the countries of the Great Lakes region.

In a recorded address to the nation, President Joseph Kabila called for a “moral and patriotic revival” to tackle the different challenges facing the country. He thanked the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) for their continued efforts to rid the country of all militias and armed groups. He urged all Congolese to support them. He said that the Government will intensify its efforts to achieve peace in all corners of the country and stop all sorts of violence against civilians, especially women.

In Kinshasa, a parade was held on the Boulevard du 30 Juin, the main street in downtown Kinshasa, which is named after Independence Day. Governor André Kimbuta and other Government officials were in attendance as people from all walks of life celebrated and marched on the music of military bands.

Other parts of the country celebrated with gatherings, rallies, and parties. Officials urged all Congolese to remain united, and continue working towards peace and development.

The Congo will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence next year. Despite years of wars and civil unrest, a common thread still holds all Congolese together, a sense of national pride and unity.