In Khartoum the fifteenth summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity ended over the weekend without making a specific condemnation of the presence of French troops in Africa.
In Khartoum the fifteenth summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity ended over the weekend without making a specific condemnation of the presence of French troops in Africa. Some observers see this as a triumph for the moderate elements among the 34 African leaders attending, who also declined to draw a distinction between the French presence and the Cuban troops also active in Africa. The question of foreign military intervention was the dominant issue of the meeting.
SYNOPSIS: There were some stormy incidents in the "Friendship Hall" in Khartoum during the five-day summit, but it ended on a note of unity among the nations of Africa. The leaders arriving for the final session had experienced some gruelling debates, but the Sudanese President Ja'afar al-Nimeiri said at the end of the meeting that all difficulties had been overcome and positive results were achieved. One of the most vigorous debates lasted fourteen hours.
The Secretary General Mr. William Etaki Mboumoua of Cameroon has stepped down and the Togo Foreign Minister Mr. Edem Kodjo was elected to replace him. The summit debated the presence of foreign troops including French, Cubans, and Belgians. Some of the delegates claimed the outcome indicated that the tide of opinion on the continent may be turning against the Soviet Union and the Cubans. The leaders agreed that every state has the right to call on assistance from any country, but any attempt by outsiders to create instability in Africa should be condemned.
According to Reuters news agency the summit made little progress in trying to end wars and disputes between neighbouring states, involving the Western Sahara, the Ogaden Desert and other regions. But the African leaders faced the issues in sometimes long and vigorous debates, which many of them said would help progress towards African solidarity -- the basic aim of the OAU The next summit will be held in Monrovia, Liberia.