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AU Leaders to Meet on Poverty, War

Leaders from the African Union are gathering in Sirte, Libya, for a two-day summit to focus on fighting poverty, disease and war on the continent.

The leaders are expected to use the summit, which opens Monday, to pressure rich countries for more engagement in Africa. This includes calls for debt cancellation as well as increased funding for AU peacekeeping missions.

U.S. and European leaders say they hope the African summit will also include a strongly worded statement about Zimbabwe's recent clampdown on shantytowns - a move that has left millions homeless.

On Saturday, AU foreign ministers proposed a reform plan that would give the continent two permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council, along with three non-permanent seats.

The 15-member Security Council now has five permanent members -- a status that includes veto power (for the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China).

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

(reuters, sabc, allafrica, file, prev)