African leaders, including Pres Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, gather in Libya on Monday for a special summit to discuss the continent's trouble spots, on the eve of celebrations to mark 40 years of Moamer Kadhafi's rule.
The conflicts in Somalia and Sudan are expected to top the agenda at the meeting, the third African Union summit so far this year."We'll try to focus on all conflict situations... We believe that we can move forward in terms of peace and discussions," the AU's Peace and Security Council chief Ramtane Lamamra said, singling out Somalia.
Despite the grim subject matter, the meeting is being held in a festive atmosphere as Libya marks the anniversary of the coup against the monarchy on September 1, 1969 that brought Kadhafi to power.
After years as a pariah state, Libya and its maverick leader now enjoy improved ties with the West and growing influence in Africa.