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Vol 40 No 15

Published 23rd July 1999

Tougher talk

Africa's big three – Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa – focused the summit on peace talks and ending military rule

For once, the Organisation of African Unity caught the mood of the continent, balanced uneasily between hope and despair. Hope that, after shaky ceasefire agreements in Congo-Kinshasa and Sierra Leone, the Algiers OAU summit (12-16 July) might progress towards resolving the conflicts ripping through over one-fifth of Africa's 53 states. Despair that good intentions are far from realisation, as economic weakness persists and old conflicts linger on in Angola and Sudan. Yet by the standards of summits in general and OAU summits in particular, it was constructive.

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