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Saturday, 1 July, 2000, 00:23 GMT 01:23 UK
DR Congo ends fortieth birthday celebrations

The Democratic Republic of Congo -- formerly Zaire -- has ended a day of celebrations marking forty years of independence.

During a five-hour parade in the capital, Kinshasa, thousands of soldiers, police and students waved flags and carried placards praising the President, Laurent Kabila.

Mr Kabila was joined by the Namibian President, Sam Nujoma, and foreign ministers from the former colonial power, Belgium, as well as Angola and Congo-Brazzaville.

Correspondents say elsewhere reaction to the celebrations was muted in a country ravaged by decades of conflict.

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