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African Ministers Set to Review Security Progress in Sudan, Somalia
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African ministers are due to meet in Kenya from Friday to review security situation in Somalia and the progress of the Sudan peace process, officials said here Thursday.

The ministers from the seven-member Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will review efforts currently in place to deploy peacekeepers to Somalia a year after it was mandated to do so.
"The IGAD Council of Ministers will also deliberate on rationalization of Regional Economic Communities in preparation for the African Union meeting in Banjul, Gambia in July 2006," said a statement from Kenya's Foreign Ministry.

"Other matters on the agenda include consideration and approval of programs, projects and the annual budget of the secretariat as presented by the Committee of Experts," it said.

The two-day meeting of the ministers from the seven member states will precede the IGAD Heads of State and Government Summit which opens in Nairobi on Monday next week.

According to the tentative program unveiled here, the regional ministers are also expected to discuss a request by the League of Arab States to be member of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF).

The regional bloc spearheaded both the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference and the Sudan Peace Process which were successfully concluded with the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government for Somalia and the signing of the Sudan Peace Agreement.

The latter led to the formation of the government of national unity in Sudan.

The IGAD groups Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2006)

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