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West African leaders begin summit to kick-start I. Coast peace process

Seven west African leaders began meeting to revive the faltering peace process in Ivory Coast, still divided more than four months after the official end of a 10-month civil war. The summit, organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), will also review the security situation in the world’s top cocoa-producing nation, paralyzed by the lingering effects of the war. Joining Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo at the summit are Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the host John Kufuor of Ghana, Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema, Mathieu Kerekou of Benin and Niger’s Mamadou Tandja as well as Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso. Ivorian Prime Minister Seydou Diarra and the UN secretary general’s special envoy to Ivory Coast, Albert Tevoedjre of Benin, were also in Accra but were not included in the closed-door session, which began after several hours of delay without a word to the waiting throng of journalists. Full Story

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