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AU Summit Expected to Focus on Libya Crisis


The flags of African Union countries wave in the wind on June 29, 2011, at Malabo international airport on the eve of African Union's 17th summit in Sipopo City,Equatorial Guinea

The flags of African Union countries wave in the wind on June 29, 2011, at Malabo international airport on the eve of African Union's 17th summit in Sipopo City,Equatorial Guinea

African heads of state are meeting in Equatorial Guinea for the annual summit of the African Union. The ongoing conflict in Libya is expected to dominate their two-day meeting.

Representatives from Moammar Gadhafi's government and the rebel Transitional National Council are both at the AU summit in Malabo where African leaders will present their roadmap for ending Libya's crisis.

Proposal

The proposal is being drafted by five African presidents - South Africa's Jacob Zuma, Mauritania's Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.

It calls for a ceasefire and a transition to democratic elections.The Gadhafi government appears to accept the plan, but rebels want it to include demands that the Libyan leader step down immediately.

Summit theme

While the crisis in Libya is expected to dominate this summit, African Union Commissioner Jean Ping says leaders will also focus on the meeting's theme of youth and sustainable development.

Ping says there is no peace without development, there is no development without peace; peace, democracy and development go hand in hand.

Somalia, Sudan

The continuing crisis in Somalia and the coming independence of South Sudan are also on the agenda.

The summit opened Thursday with a moment of silence in memory of two former heads of state who died this year, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia and Ange-Felix Patasse of the Central African Republic.


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