In Paris, the leaders of twenty French-speaking countries in Africa have suggested that their continent should handle its own security problems.
In Paris, the leaders of twenty French-speaking countries in Africa have suggested that their continent should handle its own security problems. But, as their two-day summit ended, they called on all civilised countries to help prevent massacre and genocide there.
SYNOPSIS: The famed palace of Versailles was the setting for their talks, which were dominated by the question of setting up a pan-African force to police Africa's trouble spots. President Giscard d'Estaing of France was their host.
President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire attended the final session. The massacres and strife in his country added urgency to the topic of security.
Conference source suggested a small, symbolic force drawn from the armies of several African countries might go soon to Zaire to handle security operations, revealing a new African willingness to take initiative in such trouble.
At present, France has forces involved in three African battle fronts -- Zaire, Chad and Mauritania. The action of French paratroopers in flushing rebels forces and supervising an evacuation of Europeans from the southern Zaire mining town of Kolwezi drew praise from President Omar Bongo of Gabon, in his closing speech. He stressed the need for collective security. President Mobutu was to hear President Bongo declare that all civilised countries should fly to the aid to African countries.