African presidents are due to meet in Kenya on Monday to review progress in peace initiatives in the region.
The seven heads of states and governments from regional grouping Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states will discuss the security situation in Somalia and progress in Sudan peace process.
According to tentative program released here Sunday, the African leaders will discuss the progress report on the southern Sudan peace deal which was signed in Nairobi last year and the situation in western Sudan region of Darfur where tens of thousands and 2 million people have been forced from their homes in a civil war that has wrought havoc since February 2003.
The African Union (AU), whose 7,000-strong peacekeeping force has proved too small and ill-equipped to quell the Darfur fighting, recently voted to extend its mission until Sept. 30 then support its replacement by a beefed-up UN force.
But Sudan has rejected UN peacekeepers entering Darfur before a peace deal is struck at AU-mediated talks in Nigeria with the two main Darfur rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM).
Monday's day-long meeting will also discuss the situation in Somalia where regional states are currently involved in plans to deploy peacekeepers.
Sources said despite the decision having the full backing of the African states and the United Nations, it has emerged that some Somalia lawmakers are opposed to such deployment plans.
Somali Minister of Defense Muhammad Qanyare Afrah on Sunday reiterated that foreign troops would not bring any reconciliation to Somalia regardless of their composition.
"We won't accept even one foreign peacekeeper because we see that they would not do anything for us as Somalis," said Qanyare.
The IGAD Council of Ministers meeting which ended in Nairobi on Saturday called on all parties in the Horn of African country to end factional violence, which continues to claim civilian lives and hamper critical humanitarian aid.
The foreign ministers said continued clashes, as well as attacks by pirates against aid ships, had hampered UN efforts to provide emergency food at a time when severe drought had affected nearly two million people in the country.
Also to feature in the Summit will be the relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea where the international community is working to forge a lasting solution to settle the border conflict.
The summit will be attended by Presidents Mwai Kibaki of Kenya,Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, President Omer El-Bashir of Sudan, Djibouti's Ismael Omar Guelleh and Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of Somalia. European Commission, United Nations, African Union, envoys and donors from various countries have also been invited.
The summit comes at a time when the Horn of Africa region is faced with persistent drought that has claimed many lives and animals and the matter is expected to dominate the Summit.
(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2006)