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African leaders focus on crises
January 10, 2005
African leaders focus on crises

President Gbagbo has been accused of sabotaging peace efforts

African leaders are holding a security summit in Gabon - expected to concentrate on Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo had not been expected to attend - but made a surprise arrival at the summit.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is also there. He has been mediating in peace talks since the army attacked the rebel-held north in November.

They will also look into how to end worsening violence in Sudan's Darfur region after a UN warning last week.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned that a build up of weapons and an increase in fighting, including air attacks, had led to even more people being displaced and further difficulties for aid agencies.


The African Union is struggling to impose a ceasefire it brokered in peace talks between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebels.

The slow deployment of AU troops in Darfur has been criticised

This summit will review the work of a joint commission which has been trying to encourage some level of order.

But the UN is becoming increasingly frustrated by the slowness of deploying AU troops in Darfur with only a quarter of the planned 4,000 strong force in place.

New deployments from Senegal and Nigeria will see 600 more troops with another 120 military observers.

But there are still questions about the AU's capacity to police what may be agreed in negotiations.

The heads of state are meeting for the first time under the AU's new Peace and Security Council - set up to lead African peacemaking efforts.

They are also expected to consider the continuing violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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