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Francophone Summit to Open in Burkina Faso

Top officials from dozens of French-speaking nations are set to open an annual conference in the west African nation of Burkina Faso on Thursday.

Organizers say the theme of this year's summit in Ouagadougou is "sustainable development" in nations in Africa and other parts of the world.

France is expected to press delegates at the conference to renew a call for peace in Ivory Coast, after the government raided rebel bases this month, shattering an 18-month truce.

The raids killed nine members of a French peacekeeping force, which responded by destroying Ivorian warplanes.

Ivorian President Laurent Gbabgo has said he will not attend the summit in Burkina Faso, which he has accused of backing rebels in his country.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.