government in Somalia has signed the African Union treaty,
joining a dozen other countries that have endorsed the plan
for the continental union, diplomats in Addis Ababa told AFP
of 41 member states of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)
have agreed to the idea of a continental union with a supreme
body and an executive council, but only 13 states have ratified
the constituent act, signed at an OAU conference in Lome,
Togo last July.
which has to be ratified by two-thirds of Africa's 53 states,
will be at the centre of talks at an OAU summit on March 1-2,
in Syrte, Libya.
leader Moamer Kadhafi has long pushed to create a United States
of Africa, but has met opposition from African economic powers
such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.
has been without a functioning government since the January
1991 fall of Mohammed Siad Barre.
government put into place last year is now in Mogadishu but
has yet to extend its control beyond a portion of the capital,
which, like the rest of Somalia, has been torn by clan rivalries
for the last decade.