Senegal's president says the country will reclaim three French military bases to mark its 50th year of independence from France.
President Abdoulaye Wade said Sunday the government will retake the bases which house some 1,200 troops. He says the handover is the final step in Senegal's separation from its former colonial master.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Senegal has always had "total sovereignty" over the bases in the West African nation and that they have been discussing the bases' future since 2008. He says talks are ongoing.
Senegal also marked its independence by unveiling a towering bronze statue. The monument has drawn criticism in the poverty-stricken nation for its $27 million price tag.