PORT LOUIS. — The island nation of Mauritius celebrated its 50th year of independence on Monday with fireworks and entertainment, just days after a financial scandal forced its president to announce plans to resign. Mauritius, a picturesque Indian Ocean island beloved by tourists switched hands between the Dutch, French and British before attaining independence in 1968.
Thousands of residents attended a ceremony celebrating the country’s 50th year of independence, with Indian president Ram Nath Kovind designated guest of honour, while Indian helicopters took part in an aerial display and troops also participated in a parade.
The three-hour ceremony, in which 400 artists took part, came after Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth announced last week that President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim would resign after becoming embroiled in a financial scandal.
Gurib-Fakim, who is the only female head of state in Africa, has been accused of using a bank card provided by an NGO to make personal purchases and will step down on an unspecified date after the independence ceremony. — AFP.