African foreign ministers or their representatives began arriving in Congo-Kinshasa yesterday for the 37-nation conference to discuss problems plaguing their continent.
Kinshasa airport, M. Bomboko, delegates and onlookers.
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Background: African foreign ministers or their representatives began arriving in Congo-Kinshasa yesterday for the 37-nation conference to discuss problems plaguing their continent.
Their week-long talks will prepare for the fourth summit conference of the Organisation of African Unity which is due to open in Congo Kinshasa on September 11.
Only one of the OAU's 38 member nations has announced it will not be represented - Malawi. Last month Malawi announced it would miss the foreign ministers gathering and the summit because the dates clashed with a convention of her ruling Congress Party.
Among subjects likely to be discussed are Rhodesia, Portuguese territories in Africa, southwest Africa, apartheid, the Congolese mercenary rebellion and possibly Nigeria's civil war.
The OAU was set up in 1963 to promote African unity, defend African sovereignty and eradicate colonialism.
Delegates to the conference were welcomed by Mr. Justin Bomboko, the Congo-Kinshasa foreign minister.
The ninth session of the Council of Ministers was opened by Mr. Joseph Mobutu, the president of Congo-Kinshasa at 1500 GMT today (Monday). According to sources close to the conference three main committees then went on to deal with political, economic and administrative problems.
The Nigerian Federal Government has opposed inclusion on the agenda of her civil war with the secessionist state of Biafra, stressing that it is an internal matter. Some delegates, however, have said it should be discussed with a view to possible mediation.
Eyes are also turned towards the Arab delegation to see whether they will insist that the conference add to its programme by discussing the Middle East.