AU Peace Fund rollout set for 2017

The African Union has drawn up a plan to help step up terrorism fight through the establishment of a joint funding initiative expected to kick off in 2017, once the modalities governing it are in place.
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui.
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui.

The African Union has drawn up a plan to help step up terrorism fight through the establishment of a joint funding initiative expected to kick off in 2017, once the modalities governing it are in place.

The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, said this week that he would be heading to UN Headquarters in New York, US, where he will further discuss how the Fund can be supported.

Currently, peacekeeping operations are largely funded by development partners through the UN.

But AU countries have committed to raise $1.2 million annually that will allow Africa to contribute 25 per cent on peacekeeping efforts.

“If we have to evaluate the questions about peace and security discussed during this [AU] Summit, the most important outcome was a decision on finance. It’s a great achievement for Africa to have a peace fund,” he said.

Chergui said combating terrorism remains a costly venture, adding that, so far, China had contributed $100 million toward the African standby force.

The money will be disbursed over five years and China was ready to disburse the first installment.

“Combating terrorism is very expensive and creating this fund is good development, and we hope to benefit from the solidarity of Africans and international partners. This is a common threat that requires a global approach,” he said.

Chergui also touched on the Burundi issue, saying Heads of State and Government had discussed the targeted assassinations, violation of human rights and the plight of displaced Burundians.

He said the Commission visited Burundi last month to pursue deployment of humanitarian observers and military experts and to promote inclusive dialogue among Burundians as the best way to finding a lasting solution to the crisis.

On Somalia, he said the exit strategy in two years time was the main issue on the table.

“In October 2018, we are going to start withdrawing our forces from Somalia. We are going to conduct a robust and collective assessment to understand how best to deal with Al-Shabab and we have devoted a lot of energy for training and equipping Somali forces to take over the security of their own elections. We will be responsible for next year’s general elections,” he said. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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