• Short Summary

    Heads of state from 22 African nations have arrived in Libreville, Gabon, for the 14th summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

  • Description

    Heads of state from 22 African nations have arrived in Libreville, Gabon, for the 14th summit meeting of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

    SYNOPSIS: All but one of the 49 member states of the OAU are represented at the Gabon meeting. The only country not represented is Benin, which has differences with the host country. The summit is expected to spend some time discussing several disputes now running between OAU members. The OAU Ministerial Council, meeting in preparation for the summit, has discussed a controversial resolution condemning interference in the affairs of member states.

    Delegates at the ministerial meeting failed to agree on a final resolution and a committee has been formed to investigate the issue further. Kenya has become the latest state to accuse a neighbour of aggression, saying Somali troops had clashed with their troops inside Kenya. Somalia has denied the Kenyan charges that troops from the two countries have clashed.

    Another dispute, this time between Chad and the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (formerly Libya), had complicated last-minute preparations for the opening sessions of the OAU summit as delegates wrestled with contending views over how it should appear on the agenda. The disagreement between Chad and the Jamahiriyah appeared to be settled when President Felix Malloum agreed to drop his country's insistence on condemning Libyan Jamahiriyah aggression in the northern part of his country. But Chad is likely to raise the dispute in a different form later in the summit.

    A major cause of the divisions over the non-interference question has been the problem of the former Spanish Sahara, now ruled jointly by Morocco and Mauritania with the armed opposition of the Algerian backed Polisario Front. Last year's OAU summit in Mauritius decided to hold an extraordinary summit on the problem, but this has not occurred so far.

    Sudan, represented in Libreville by President Ja'afar al-Nimeiry, has been one of the so-called moderate group of countries working hard to produce a resolution condemning all outside interference in Africa's affairs. President Omar Bongo, of Gabon, who becomes chairman of the OAU the summit, has also called for an end to outside interference in Africa.

    Another major topic for discussion will be the situation in southern Africa, with both South Africa and Rhodesia expected to come under fresh attack from African leaders. The OAU members will also be discussing economic cooperation during the meeting.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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