As Ghana prepared to return to civilian rule with general elections scheduled for June, the country's military leader, Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo made his first official visit to neighbouring Togo to discuss several long-standing foreign policy differences with the Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema.
GV & SV Ghanaian aircraft taxis into Lome airport and crowds wait with welcome banners. (2 SHOTS)
CU PAN Ghanaian President Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo out of aircraft and greeted by Togolese President General Gnassinbge Eyadema before receiving flowers.
SV & LC Crowds watch as two leaders inspect and stand to attention in front of guard of honour. (3 SHOTS)
LV, SV & CU President Akuffo is introduced to officers and civilians. (4 SHOTS)
LV & GV Welcoming banner across road as motorcade leaves. (2 SHOTS)
Five days after President Akuffo returned to Accra, an airforce officer and some airmen made an unsuccessful attempt to stage an uprising in Ghana. The group tried to take over the army headquarters in Accra on Tuesday (15 May) but were overpowered and captured. Reuters reports that diplomatic sources in Accra said the attempted coup showed that there was still some opposition within the army to the return to civilian rule in Ghana after seven years of military government.
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Background: As Ghana prepared to return to civilian rule with general elections scheduled for June, the country's military leader, Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo made his first official visit to neighbouring Togo to discuss several long-standing foreign policy differences with the Togolese President Gnassingbe Eyadema.
SYNOPSIS: An enthusiastic welcome was staged at Lome airport for President Akuffo and the party of Ghanaian officials. The visitors were only expected to spend one day in Togo, but the summit meeting between the Presidents was extended to two days. President Akuffo took over as Ghanaian head of state last July replacing General Ignatious Acheampong who had led the military coup which toppled the civilian government in 1972. Ghana's new leaders have since accused General Acheampong of being corrupt and despotic and announced recovery plans to aid Ghana's ailing economy.
One major financial problem for Ghana is black market trading into Togo of massive amounts of cocoa -- Ghana's chief export. There is also a border dispute dating back to World War One when Togo was partitioned into French and British sections. The British part was later incorporated into Ghana and there have been calls for its return to Togo. After the summit, both leaders said the talks were productive but did not specify any solutions to their disputes.