INTRODUCTION: President Siaka Stevens, who is chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), has been visiting a number of countries on the African continent.
GHANA: SV Dr. Siaka Stevens down aircraft steps at Accra airport, gets bouquet, welcomed by officials.
GV Stevens and officials walk across tarmac.
CU Flag PULL BACK TO GV Stevens inspecting guard of honour.
SV People waving flags, drumbeat in background.
SV Stevens waves back to handkerchief-flapping crowd.
ETHIOPIA: INTERIOR GV Stevens with Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam. (MUTE TO END)
GV Stevens and Mengistu sitting together on settee.
SCU Ethiopian official PAN TO Stevens and Mengistu.
GV Mengistu leads Ethiopian group into conference room.
GV Stevens and his team seat themselves at table.
GV Two groups at table. (3 SHOTS)
GV EXTERIOR Limousine arriving and Dr. Stevens out of car. (2 SHOTS)
GV People clapping PAN TO Stevens talking with officials.
GV Stevens and party walk into OAU building.
GV INTERIOR Stevens entering, greeted by Mengistu.
GV Stevens and Mengistu greeting officials.
GV Two men seated.
GV Officials seated
GV Stevens reading statement as Mengistu listens. (2 SHOTS)
GV Stevens continuing statement.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: President Siaka Stevens, who is chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), has been visiting a number of countries on the African continent. During an official two-day visit to Ethiopia, he called on African states to co-operate to help the embattled people of the Western Sahara, where Moroccan troops are fighting Polisario guerrillas. Before going to Ethiopia, Dr. Stevens was in Ghana.
SYNOPSIS: He touched down at the Ghanaian capital, Accra, on Monday (9 March) to be greeted by a full complement of government officials. Dr. Stevens arrived only three days after Ghana had celebrated the 24th anniversary of independence from Britain. In a radio broadcast for the anniversary, Ghana's President Hilla Limann described a country with economic ills that have brought it close to bankruptcy.
President Limann's anniversary message did contain ingredients to please Dr. Stevens in his current role as the head of OAU. The Ghanaian leader said his country would take a more active role in African and international affairs, and would increase economic co-operation with other countries. During his brief stay in Ghana, Dr. Stevens was to hold talks with President Limann, and performed a number of ceremonial duties.
On to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where Dr. Steven's host was the military head of state, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. Dr. Stevens is only the second foreign OAU chairman to visit the organisation's headquarters, based on this city. The first was the deposed Ugandan President Idi Amin. It was during his talks with Colonel Mengistu here that..Dr. Stevens stressed the need for peaceful solutions to Africa's problems.
Dr. Stevens told the Ethiopian leader he was satisfied that Ethiopia and Sudan had last year patched up their differences, after several years of strained relations.
The visitor went on Thursday (12 March) to the OAU headquarters for further talks with Colonel Mengistu. Observers said a key topic would be Ethiopia's long-running quarrel with its neighbour, Somalia, over the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopian, where most of the population is of Somali origin.
The two countries fought a war over the Ogaden in 1977-78, and Somali guerrillas still operate there. Dr. Stevens was expected to discuss the conflict with Somali leaders during his visit to their capital, Mogadishu during the week (16-20 March). But the subject causing greater concern for the organisation at present is the Western Sahara. The OAU Secretary-General, Mr. Edem Kodjo, said during Dr. Steven's visit that arms supplies from foreign countries were worsening the already-serious troubles there in the conflict between Moroccan and Polisario troops. Mr. Kodjo felt a solution could come only through the OAU. Western Sahara will be a controversial topic when the organisation's heads of state meet in Nairobi in June.