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Friday, August 14, 1998 Published at 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK

World: Africa

West Africa security concerns

The heads of state of five Francophone West African Countries, meeting in Benin, have expressed concern over worsening security in West Africa.

The statement was made by the presidents of Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Benin at the end of their annual meeting to discuss regional affairs.Theyblamed the trafficking of weapons and ammunition for a growing number of armed robberies which they said threatened economic development in the sub-region.

A correspondent for the BBC in Benin says no decision was made about the drought and famine affecting parts of Niger, with the final communique simply urging international charities to help.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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