OAU Summit Officially Opens in Togo
The 36th summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), attended by 33 heads of state and government, officially opened Monday in Lome, the Togolese capital, reported AFP.
The summit, which will focus on AIDS, debt forgiveness, civil war and a plan for African political and economic union, was declared open at midday by OAU President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Algeria's head of state, said AFP.
Togo, which is hosting the gathering, will take over the presidency of the 53-member pan-African organization from Algeria.
Angola, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are boycotting the summit in protest against Togo's alleged support for Angolan rebels.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will not attend the summit, reported Reuters, quoting government officials.
Mugabe was busy deciding on a new cabinet after his ruling ZANU-PF narrowly defeated a fierce opposition challenge in parliamentary elections last month, they said.
Zimbabwe will be represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge.
Diplomats in Harare suggested on Monday that Mugabe had boycotted the meeting to support Angola's campaign to shift the summit out of Togo, said Reuters - (Several Sources)
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