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06.02.2005 Togo

Hundreds of people stranded at Ghana-Togo border.

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Aflao, (V/R) Feb. 06, GNA - Business activities are at a standstill at the Ghana/Togo border at Aflao as Togo closes her side of the frontier since Saturday in the wake of the announced death of their Leader, President Gnansingbe Eyadema.

There is however, no unusual security build-up at their side of the border.

The closure which took effect at about 1900 hours on Saturday, three hours ahead of the normal closure and remains closed on the following Sunday morning, have left a sea of traders and travellers stranded at both ends of the frontier.

On the request of the Togolese border security, the Ghanaian border authorities are keeping the agitated travellers away from the inner parameters of the Aflao frontier, a Ghanaian official told the between the last departure hall and the STC terminal was flooded with vehicles and people who are unclear of when the frontier would reopen for them to cross.

The announced death of Africa's longest serving ruler, Eyadema, 69,has been the topic for discussion in Aflao.

The GNA came across different groups of local people, mainly women mimicking a funeral scene accompanied with dirges, mentioning the name of the late Togolese leader.

All Togolese Television and Radio stations, including the private ones, as monitored in Aflao, have stopped normal business transmissions and are playing soft, religious and mourning music, in addition to showing his photograph on the TV screens.

President Eyadema came to power 38 years ago, following a popular uprising in that country during, which the then President Sylvanus Olympio was overthrown in what appeared to be the first forceful takeover in Francophone West Africa.

He subsequently dissolved all political parties and banned political activities.

When he lifted the ban on political activity years later, he stood on the ticket of the ruling Togo Peoples' Rally, the RPT, and won as President three times in elections the opposition said were rigged.

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