President William Tolbert of Liberia has been elected Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), succeeding Sudanese President Jafaar Nimeiri.
GV: conference centre
V: OAU delegates seated in assembly with Chairman Jaffaar Nimeiri at front
SV: UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim seated at official table and view of delegates (2 shots)
GV: Chairman Nimeiri leaving chair and shaking hands with OAU officials and Dr. Waldheim.
GV: President Tobert of Liberia walks up to take over Chairmanship, he and outgoing chairman embrace.
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Background: President William Tolbert of Liberia has been elected Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), succeeding Sudanese President Jafaar Nimeiri. The two men ceremonially changed positions at the opening session of the OAU summit conference in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, on Tuesday (17 July).
SYNOPSIS: More than twenty-five African heads of state gathered for the opening session of the OAU's sixteenth annual summit. It was President Nimeiri's last session in the chair, and among those present for the official changeover was United Nations Secretary General, ??? Waldheim.
In an earlier speech to delegates, President Nimeiri had lashed out at what he called the fundamental weakness and lack of moral authority of the OAU.
He joined new chairman, Mr. Mr. Tolbert, in calling for a crisis mechanism such as a security council of heads of state to act rapidly, and with authority, to stop wars and disputes in Africa. The two men have been concerned at Tanzania's invasion of Uganda earlier this year, and its implications. Mr. Tolbert has called for a far-reaching review of the OAU charter and said human rights protection should be included immediately to "enhance its credibility worldwide". The election of Liberia's president as chairman might appear symbolic. as well as hosting the conference, it is Africa's oldest republic. Liberia is also the only African country never to have ben colonised.