The council of ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) yesterday (Monday) began detailed discussion on an agenda for the fourth conference of their heads of state.
Conference building; various delegations; Mr Kapwepwe; President Mobutu speaking (SOF)
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Background: The council of ministers of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) yesterday (Monday) began detailed discussion on an agenda for the fourth conference of their heads of state.
The Foreign ministers and their representatives, meeting in closed session in the Parliament Building on the banks of the Congo River, were drafting the programme for next Monday's summit conference.
Delegates to the conference were welcomed by Mr Joseph Mobutu, President of Congo-Kinshasa who told them there was a need for an African united front against the perils that menaced the continent. He warned delegates of their responsibilities in a continent, which, he said, had seen internal crises. worsening inter-African relations and increased subversion affecting OAU members.
All but one of the 38 member nations are expected to attend the OAU summit. Malawi has said she cannot attend either the ministers' conference or the summit because the date clashes with Dr Hasting Kamuzu Banda's Ruling Party Congress.
Representatives of 35 states have so far arrived for the conference, with Madagascar and Uganda expected at any time.
Dr Holden Roberto, president of the Kinshasa-based Angolan Revolutionary Government in exile (GRAE) is attending the ministerial meeting. At the opening ceremony he sat next to Zambia's foreign minister, Mr Simon Kapwepwe. The other man Angolan nationalist movement, the Brazzaville-based Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) is boycotting the conference. Both parties accuse the other of arresting and jailing their militants.
Also attending the conference was Mr Diallo Telli of Guinea, who is secretary general of the OAU.