African Union Chairman Thomas Boni Yayi will visit some of the continent's conflict areas -- including Sudan, South Sudan, Mali, and Libya -- for direct talks, an aide said on Saturday.

Also president of Benin, Yayi had been hosting an informal summit of the continent's leaders in his country's capital city of Cotonou focusing on security, especially in the Sahel; piracy; and the threat posed in Nigeria by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgents.

A road map has been drawn to allow the presidency of the AU to progressively and effectively tackle the different crises through direct discussions with the various protagonists, Mariam Diallo, a diplomatic adviser to Yayi, told reporters after the meeting.

Diallo gave neither details nor a timetable, and no statement was issued at the end of the meeting, which was attended by about a dozen African heads of state, including those of South Africa, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Togo.

(Reporting by Samuel Elijah; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alison Williams)