African Union summit to begin as conflicts flare

The African Union’s annual summit is set to begin on Monday as war is flaring in Somalia and the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur is spilling over the border, aggravating rebellions in Chad and the Central African Republic.

The African Union’s annual summit is set to begin on Monday as war is flaring in Somalia and the conflict in Sudan’s Darfur is spilling over the border, aggravating rebellions in Chad and the Central African Republic.

“There is a deadly and dramatic risk for a quagmire to develop in Somalia,” AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare said today.

“I call on AU-member states to provide troops for this peacekeeping mission … This deployment is a necessary condition to create the basis for an open political dialogue."

Dignitaries expected to attend the Addis Ababa meeting in Ethiopia are the new UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who is making the summit his first official mission abroad, and Jendayi Frazier, the top US. official on Africa.

The summit attendees could decide on a successor to Konare, whose chairmanship ends in July, and choose a country to lead the AU, a post that rotates every year.

Sudan is due to assume the position, but has been forced to step aside before because of the Darfur crisis.

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