Seychelles bids farewell to ex-President René

Yasine Mohabuth

BBC Afrique

The state funeral for France-Albert René in the Seychelles
State House, Seychelles

The state funeral of France-Albert René, the former president of the Seychelles, has taken place in Mahé, the largest island of the archipelago - and flags on public buildings are flying at half-mast.

Mr René, who led the Indian Ocean nation for 27 years until 2004, died at the age of 83 last month.

Approximately 500 invited guests paid their respects to the former president at State House in the capital, Victoria as his body lay in state.

The ceremony included a 21-gun salute with full military honours.

His funeral cortege then travelled through the capital to a stadium where members of the public could pay their respects.

People at the state funeral for France-Albert René in the Seychelles
Alvin Grandcourt

All along the way, women dressed in red - the colours of the People's Party - spontaneously broke into song as the procession passed by in a solemn tribute to the former head of state.

This was followed by an inter-faith service at the stadium, followed by a burial service at the Mont Fleuri Cemetery, where he was buried next to his mother's grave.

Seychelles blocks Indian naval base deal

Will Ross

Africa editor, BBC World Service

The government of the Seychelles says a deal allowing India to build a naval base in the archipelago will not be sent to parliament for approval - because it knows it would be rejected.

The two countries agreed in January to build military facilities on the island of Assumption, but the project was criticised by the opposition and there were protests.

India is seen as keen to counter the growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean.

The deal has been blocked for now but the president of the Seychelles, Danny Faure, is about to start an official visit to India and the issue is likely to be brought up again.

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Provides an overview as well as facts and figures on this island state situated off the coast of Africa

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