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Last Updated: Friday, 11 July, 2003, 10:56 GMT 11:56 UK
African leaders discuss wars
Colonel Gaddafi greeting Joachim Chissano
Africa's leaders are being told to prevent rather than promote conflicts

African leaders are holding talks on some of the worst conflicts on the continent on the second day of the African Union Summit in Mozambique.

About 40 heads of state will discuss the civil wars in Liberia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Somalia but several key leaders are missing including the Liberian and Congolese leaders.

They want to set up a peace and security council within the African Union.

In the opening speech of the second African Union summit, outgoing chairman, President Thabo Mbeki, said conflict resolution was a top priority for them.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan reiterated the point saying Africa needed to tackle the double threat posed by conflicts and Aids.

"The UN and international community can appoint envoys, urge negotiations and spend billions of dollars on peacekeeping missions, but none of this will solve conflicts, if the political will and capacity do not exist here, in Africa," he said.


"Since the union came into being, it has been seized with efforts to resolve a number of conflicts and cases of instability across the continent," he said.

Kofi Annan
Annan says billion of dollars alone will not save Africa

Mr Mbeki said a year after the AU was founded, the organisation's goal of a peaceful and stable continent could only be achieved with more effective mechanisms.

He said the signing, ratification and creation of several continental bodies, including a Pan-African Parliament, a court and a security council were vital.


US President George W. Bush's visit to Africa is also causing some disruption to the summit.

The presidents of both Uganda and Nigeria are returning home early in order to welcome Mr Bush to their respective countries.

The BBC's Peter Biles says that in Mozambique there has been some disappointment that the US president did not take the opportunity of dropping in on the summit while so many heads of state were gathered in one place.

The BBC's Peter Biles reports from Maputo
"The message to African countries is that they must pull together"

Q&A: African Union
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09 Jul 03  |  Africa
Africa plans joint defence force
16 May 03  |  Africa

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