Home | News    Monday 20 March 2006

UN’s Annan in Republic of Congo to discuss African crises

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Mar 19, 2006 (BRAZZAVILLE) — U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan flew Sunday to Republic of Congo, where he said he will discuss Africa’s crises with the country’s president, the current head of the continent-wide African Union.

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Denis Sassou Nguess

Prime Minister Isidore Mvouba met Annan as he stepped from the plane that brought him from Madagascar, his latest stop in a two-week African tour.

Annan is to meet Monday with President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, named this year as the rotating head of the 53-nation bloc that’s helping mediate in African conflicts - including the violence in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

Annan told reporters he’ll discuss a blocked peace process in Ivory Coast and the Darfur region, but counseled that no major breakthrough is expected. "It’s a complex situation," he said of Darfur.

Annan also said proposed reform of the U.N. Security Council was on the agenda. African countries and other developing nations want permanent seats on an expanded council, saying highly populated, poor nations are underrepresented.

Annan is to travel Tuesday to Congo, Republic of Congo’s much-larger neighbor, where the first elections in decades are scheduled for June.

The European Union is considering sending troops from E.U. nations to back up the U.N.’s 16,000-troop peace mission during balloting.

E.U. foreign policy chief Javier Solana arrived there Sunday for talks on the deployment.

(ST/AP)

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