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France celebrates Bastille Day amid protests

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France celebrates Bastille Day amid protests
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France has been staging its annual Bastille Day parade amid a storm of controversy.
 
French President Nicholas Sarkozy took the salute on the Champs-Eleysées.  
 
Armies from former colonies celebrating 50 years of independence have been taking part.
 
Troops from Cameroon, Gabon, Niger, Chad and Congo-Brazzaville were among the units filing past. 
 
The storming of the Bastille in 1789 is viewed symbolically as the birth of the French republic.
 
This year the parade has come in for some criticism from Sarkozy’s political opponents who say he should be economising.
 
Human rights activists are also complaining that some of the African leaders present should be facing war crimes trials while some crtitics are accusing President Sarkozy of giving the impression France granted independence to nations who fought bitterly for it.