Conflicts come to the fore at OIF summit

Ouagadougou- Burkina Faso (PANA) -- With some 50 countries within the Francophonie in conflict or post-conflict situations, deliberations at the OIF summit here would for the greater part focus on social and political tensions that undermine sustainable development.
The conflict in Côte d'Ivoire is a major concern for French- speaking heads of state and governments.
President Laurent Gbagbo, whose attendance at the Ouagadougou summit is uncertain, succeeded in attracting the attention of the Francophonie Standing Council and the 21st ministerial session that preceded the summit.
A resolution taken by the two bodies urges OIF heads of state to involve the different parties in the implementation of the accords signed in Linas Marcoussis (France) in January 2003.
Expectations in Great Lakes is for the OIF to mobilise international support for reconstruction efforts in Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo.
On the other hand, elections in the Central African Republic remain a cause for concern within the organisation.
Same with Haiti.
At the centre-stage at the Ouagadougou summit, though, would be the crisis in Darfur, western Sudan.
Though not an OIF member, Sudan preoccupies leaders of the Francophonie who intend to throw their weight behind efforts to restore peace and stability in the war-rocked country.
Sudanese president Omar El-Bashir and African Union chairman, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria will attend the Ouagadougou summit to take part in deliberations on the crisis.
AU Commission chairperson Alpha Omar Konare is expected to call for solidarity of the Francophonie in resolving the conflicts in Africa's hotbeds.
Meanwhile, Mauritania's ambassador in Paris, Sid'El Ould Nagi indicated that his country would not take part in the summit as long as Burkinabe authorities do not admit involvement in recent schemes against President Maaouya Ould Sid'Amed Taya.
That notwithstanding, expectations are that Ouagadougou would be the starting point of a Francophonie oriented towards issues of political stability and development.

25 november 2004 21:04:00




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