African Heads of State pay last respects to late Ghanaian president

Channels Television  
Updated August 10, 2012

The funeral of Ghanaian president John Atta Mills, who died suddenly in July, is being held in the capital, Accra.

The coffin of late President John Atta-Mills is carried to the parliament in Accra.

President Goodluck Jonathan arrived Accra yesterday (Thursday) and paid a visit to President John Mahama in Osu Castle, Ghana’s seat of power to pay condolence to the Ghanaian people ahead of Friday’s burial.

Vice President Namadi Sambo had earlier visited to convey Nigeria’s best wishes to the government and people of Ghana shortly after President Mahama took over the reins of power.

Heads of State expected to attend the burial are Alassane Quattara, president of Cote d’Ivoire and chairman of ECOWAS, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Theodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatoiral Guinea, Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso.

Others are President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia; Jakaya kikwete of Tanzania; Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia; Mahamadou Issoufou of NIger. The rest are Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa; Yahya J. Jameh of the Gambia and Macky Sall of Senegal.

Thousands of Ghanaians are attending. Mr. Mills, who had long suffered from throat cancer, died only five months before he was set to seek re-election.

Mills is to be buried in a Bird Sanctuary next to the seat of government, the 17th-century Fort Christiansborg, also known as Osu Castle, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

Thousands of Ghanaians have been streaming into Accra in the past two days to pay their last respects to Mills as he lay in state.

Some mourners queued for hours, many of them wailing with grief, in lines up to 10km long outside the State House in Accra.

Also to attend is Hillary Clinton, the United States Secretary of State who will be ending a tour of Africa she began last week with her participation at the funeral.

To watch the live broadcast of the burial click here.