Guinea celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ruling Democratic Party on Sunday (14 May) with a massive display in a stadium in Conakry.
Guinea celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ruling Democratic Party on Sunday (14 May) with a massive display in a stadium in Conakry. The display also marked the setting for a full state funeral for former Ghanaia President Kwame Nkrumah, who died in Rumania last month at 63.
Several African heads of state and representatives from 25 countries attended the funeral, which came after a period of mourning for Dr Nkrumah, who's body had been lying in state in Conakry. The mourning period coincided with celebrations marking the Democratic Party's anniversary.
The former Ghanian President had been living in Guinea since he was ousted from power in a Ghanian Army coup in February, 1966. During his exile Guinean President Sekou Toure appointed him co-President of Guinea.
President Sekou Toure presided over the ceremony. And among the Presidents attending were William Tolbert of Liberia, Mouktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania and Sourou Migan Apithy of Dahomey. The Vice-Presidents of The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Somalia were also present.
The former Ghanian President's wife and children also attended the funeral.
Dr. Nkrumah's body was borne into the stadium on a gun carriage as thousands of Guineans stood in silence.
After the ceremonies, the body was taken to Conakry's Camayenne Mausoleum where, Conakry Radio said, it will lie beside Guinea's national heroes, Samory Toure and Yaya Diallo.
Sunday's ceremonies also included a more festive display of athletic skills which marked the 25th anniversary of the Democratic Party. Some 500,000 people reportedly watched in the stadium.
There'd been no word, however, of when Dr. Nkrumah's body would be flown back to Accra for burial, and there have been misgivings in the Ghanaian capital that it would not be returned by the Guineans.
SYNOPSIS: Some 500,000 Guineans attended a massive ceremony in Conakry on Sunday which marked the 25th anniversary of the country's ruling Democratic Party. But there was also a sombre note, because a central part of the ceremonies in the capital's "September 28th Stadium" was a state funeral for Ghana's former President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Dr Nkrumah died last month in Rumania at the age of 63. The funeral came after a period of mourning in Guinea, during which the former Ghanaian leader's body had been lying in state.
Pictures of Guinean President Sekou Toure and Dr. Nkrumah were prominently displayed.
The Guinean President arrived at the head of a motorcade - and with him were some of the African heads of state attending the funeral. Representatives from 25 countries paid their respects at the stadium. Dr. Nkrumah had been living in Guinea since he'd been ousted from power in a Ghanian Army coup in 1966. During his exile, the Cuinean leader appointed him co-President.
Dr. Nkrumah's wife, here in the centre, also attended the funeral. Because of the ceremony's dual nature, athletes performed skilled displays to mark the Democratic Party's anniversary. Flowers decorated the gun carriage bearing Dr. Nkrumah's body.
The ceremonies ended with further displays marking the Party's anniversary. Dr. Nkrumah's body was later taken to a Conakry mausoleum. There's been no word, however, of when the body would be flown back to Accra for burial. And there've been misgivings that it wouldn't be returned by the Guineans.