Zimbabwe's child cadets paraded with guns in Harare on Sunday as the country celebrated the 30th anniversary of its independence from Britain.
Published: 9:27PM BST 18 Apr 2010
Zimbabwean child cadets on parade during the celebrations of 30 years of independence from Britain
President Robert Mugabe joined thousands at the National Sports Stadium, where he inspected a guard of honour before giving a keynote speech.
Mr Mugabe issued a rare appeal for an end to politically-driven violence, saying: "As Zimbabweans, we need to foster an environment of tolerance and treating each other with dignity and respect irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnicity, tribe, political or religious affiliation." Related Articles
<LI class=bullet sizset="50" sizcache="36">
How Mugabe turned hope into misery
<LI sizset="51" sizcache="36">
Robert Mugabe's supporters attend lavish gala for president's birthday
<LI sizset="52" sizcache="36">
Armed Forces Day: events around Britain
<LI sizset="53" sizcache="36">
Summer in the city: Edinburgh's best events
<LI sizset="54" sizcache="36">
Anti-British propaganda in Portugal - June 13, 1939
Morgan Tsvangirai crash 'was designed to eliminate leader'
Many people arrived in buses hired by government to ferry residents of poor suburbs to the festivities, while others walked to the Chinese-built stadium.
For the second year running, leaders of Zimbabwe's three main political parties attended the event, which had previously been dominated by Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister, and his deputy Arthur Mutambara, Mr Mugabe's partners in the troubled power-sharing government, were among notable dignitaries present.
The commemorations come as Zimbabwe battles to ease political tensions that threaten its stability and to revive an economy ravaged by nearly a decade of political crisis.
Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai's MDC party are trying to make an accord so that elections can be held this year or next.