Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, the outgoing chairman of the Organization of African Unity, and Nigerian President Shehu Shagari began talks yesterday seeking to end the deadlock -- over which of two rival delegations should represent Chad -- that has delayed the opening of the OAU summit.
Heads of state or prime ministers from 15 countries were reported in Tripoli, and four more were expected today, when the meeting is scheduled to open. But 34 nations are needed for a quorum, and it appeared that the meeting would not be able to begin on schedule.
It is the second time in four months that a dispute has blocked the OAU summit at which Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi is to become chairman of the 51-nation organization for the next year.
Led by Morocco, moderate nations stayed away from the August summit and prevented a quorum because Qaddafi and others insisted on seating the Polisario rebels from the Western Sahara. The Polisario had agreed not to attend this meeting so that the delayed summit could be held.
The current dispute pits supporters of President Hissene Habre against those in favor of the leader he ousted in June, Goukouni Oueddei. Libya has given refuge to Goukouni and his "government in exile" and seeks to have them recognized by the OAU.