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African Leaders in Mauritania for Summit against Corruption

This June 27, 2018 general view shows the al-Mourabitoune Conference Center in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott where the 31st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union is taking place.

Thirty African heads of state are meeting in Mauritania Sunday and have opened the 31st African Union summit, which is aimed at finding ways to stamp out the continent's corruption and discussing efforts to improve peace and security.

The summit, on Sunday and Monday in Mauritania's capital, Nouakchott, is focused on ending the diversion of Africa's wealth that is hindering the continent's development. The AU says approximately 70 percent of income from Africa's resources are squandered or diverted. According to the agenda, heads of state will discuss setting up a mechanism to return stolen money, which is largely placed in tax havens abroad.

Other issues to be addressed at the summit include the establishment of a free trade zone and the ongoing conflict in South Sudan.

The AU Peace and Security Council of 15 countries will convene on the sidelines of the summit Monday and will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the battle against Islamic extremism and ways to finance counterterrorism and peacekeeping operations.

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