Appeals by the Polisario to join the OAU (organisation of African Unity) could split the organization.
SV AN CU Cameroon President, Mr. Abidjo, down aircraft steps and greeted by Sierra Leone President, Mr. Siaka Stevens, at Freetown Airport (2 shots)
SV AND CU Women singing with soldiers seated on armoured vehicles watching arrival
SV President Hilla Lihman of Ghana out of aircraft and greeted by President Stevens
CU PAN Singers and dancers
CU Guinea President, Mr. Sekou Toure, out of aircraft and greeted by President Stevens and other officials
CU Guard of honour
SV President Lihman and Toure inspect the guard with President Stevens
CU PAN Mozambique Air-craft
CU President Samora Machel, Mozambique President, being greeted by Sierra Leone' Vice President Mr. Sorie Ebrahim Koroma and others
SV PAN President Machel waves to singers as he passes
CU UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim welcomed by Sierra Leone Vice President. Party walks away from aircraft (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Appeals by the Polisario to join the OAU (organisation of African Unity) could split the organization. Polisario, the self-proclaimed Western Sahara Republic, claim 18 members support its appeal for entry, but Morocco has said it will leave the OAU if Polisario is recognised.
SYNOPSIS: Many complicated issues were facing President Ahidjo, of the Cameroon as he arrived at Freetown Airport in Sierra Leone for the meeting of the OAU summit beginning on Tuesday (1 July). President Ahidjo was met at the airport by his host, Sierra Leone President Siaka Stevens, and a guard of honour.
The welcoming ceremony was highlighted by drums, military music, and native women in national costumes clapping and singing. Even the tropical rain on the day couldn't dampen their enthusiasm for the occasion.
The President of Ghana, Hilla Lihman is joining his african associates for discussions which will cover a range of topics. The most pressing issue on the agenda is the impact of the world economic crisis on the African continent.
Although the international economy is paramount in the talks, political questions are certain to take up most of the time.
President Sekou Toure of Guinea will join the other 'wise men' of the OAU, a committee of the heads of the states of Tanzania, Mali, Sudan, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria, to discuss the difficult political problems. Among these will be the Polisario's attempted entry to OAU.
Delegates will also discuss Afro-Arab relations, relations with Uganda; and Liberia's new regime under the leadership of Master Sergeant Samuel Doe. Sergeant Doe will not attend the summit although his country is theoretically in the chair. Liberia's former President, William Tolbert, who was killed in a coup led by Sergeant Doe earlier this year, was the OAU Chairman, and Sergeant Doe has been shunned by the other OAU members. President Samora Machel of Mozambique was one of the last delegates to arrive.
The four-day conference and its celebrations are expected to cost debt-ridden Sierra Leone, sixty-five million pounds. But the Government says the expensive facilities will help tourism and housing when the conference is over.
Other matters being discussed will be the established of a peace-keeping force in Chad, the proposed African common market, and Namibia. The presence here of the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim is an indication of the international importance the talks have been accorded.