African Heads of State arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Sunday (16 July) for the fifteenth summit conference of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
African Heads of State arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Sunday (16 July) for the fifteenth summit conference of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The meeting, held from July the 18th to the 21st, follows an eight-day preparation session of African Foreign Minister during which the agenda for the summit conference was drawn up.
SYNOPSIS: The African leaders flew in to Khartoum airport for the summit meeting. They were met by the President of Sudan, Jaafar Nimeiri and the Secretary General of the OAU, William Eteki Mboumoua of Cameroon.
President Ahmadou Ahidjo of Cameroon was greeted by President Nimeiri, who has taken over the chairman ship of the OAU from President Albert-Bernard Bongo of Gabon. Secretary General Mboumouxa is standing for re-election during the summit conference but Reuters new agency reports that his candidature might be opposed by those members who feel an East African should take over the post. President Ahidjo left the airport surrounded by the strict security measures taken to protect all the visiting leaders during their stay in Khartoum.
President Nimeiri then greeted the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sekou Toure. The summit meeting might result in a decision being taken to change the site of the OAU headquarters from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. president Nimeiri and President Mohamed Siad Barre. of Somalia have both supported such a motion in the past and several East African states including Djibouti have said they would welcome the change although the idea bis opposed by the Ethiopian government. The Heads of State will also discuss plans to set up a Pan-African New Agency.
Last year's Chairman of the OAU, President Bongo of Gabon was also met by President Nimeiri. The agenda for the summit meeting includes discussion of foreign involvement in Africa, and in particular the role of French troops in the civil war in Chad and in the conflict in the Western Sahara where Polisario guerrillas are fighting for independence against Morocco and Mauritania. The leaders will also deal with the issue of Soviet and Cuban influence in the Horn of Africa where Ethiopia has been waging war against Somalia and against Eritrean liberation forces.
President Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal and President Alhaji Sir Dawda Jawara of Gambia arrived together. President Senghor is one of the African leaders who supports the setting up of a pan-African security force to intervene in conflicts in Africa and so prevent foreign involvement such as that by French and Belgian troops during the rebel invasion of Shaba province in Zaire last May.