The Head of State His Excellency Paul BIYA and Mrs. Chantal BIYA arrived in France on the eve of Wednesday 13 August 2014 ahead of commemorative activities on 15 August 2014 to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing in Provence in the south of France during the Second World War.
On hand to welcome the Presidential Couple at the Paris-Orly airport was the Ambassador of Cameroon to France, Lejeune MBELLA MBELLA and his wife. A large crowd of enthusiastic supporters from the Cameroonian community in France and militants of the CPDM were also present to make the welcome agreeable. The Presidential Couple drove to the Meurice Hotel in Paris where there were greeted by the officials of the Cameroon Embassy and representatives of the Diaspora.
President Paul BIYA is in France at the invitation of French President François HOLLANDE. He will participate in activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the landing in Provence, in the south of France, which will take place in Toulon on the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
The ceremony is intended to pay homage to veterans of the landing who fought hard during World War II to liberate France from Nazi occupation. Over 200 former soldiers are expected to be present in Toulon. Soldiers of various nationalities including Africans, and more especially Cameroonians, took part in the heroic fight and made the operation Dragon (the code name of the landing) a great success.
The invitation of the African Heads of State to the ceremony is seen as recognition of the determinant role played by African soldiers in the victory of France over the Nazis during the Second World War.
The commemoration will include military honours, a speech by the French President François HOLLANDE, naval and aerial displays and dinner aboard the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.