On July 2, 2012, a grand parade and mass demonstration was held in Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of its independence.
Around 11 a.m. (local time), the Burundi military band played the national anthem of Burundi, marking the opening of the celebration. The Burundi people, in neat clothes, marched forward in front of the podium in different square formations. Some were waving, some clapping their hands, some dancing traditional dances of Burundi.
The mass demonstration was followed by the parade. The square formations of the Burundian armed forces and police forces passed the podium to accept the review. And then the fleet carrying a variety of heavy weapons and logistical support equipment passed the podium and several helicopters flew across the sky.
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza delivered a speech after the parade. He thanked those at home and abroad who made significant contributions to the independence of Burundi. President Nkurunziza said that over the past 5 decades since the independence, Burundi has made tremendous progress in infrastructure, education, health, banking and many other fields. Burundi should take the 50th anniversary of independence as an opportunity to sum up experience for faster development.
Cai Wu, Minister of Culture and Chinese President Hu Jintao's special envoy, led a Chinese delegation to attend the celebration. The celebration was also attended by Belgian Crown Prince Philippe and his wife Princess Mathilde, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Jean Ping, presidents and senior government officials of many countries.
Burundi was a Belgian colony and formally declared independence on July 1, 1962. July 1 is a statutory holiday in Burundi. As a result, the government of Burundi organized the celebration on July 2.