Four new EU programmes strengthening African capacities in peace and security (30/01/2012)
The EU started 2012 by launching four new programmes to support African capacities in peace and security. In addition to the continuing assistance from European Union Member States. This will further strengthen African capacities to address and manage crises and security threats across the continent. This is a sign of continued commitment to addressing peace and security issues jointly with African partners and is proof of the progress that has been achieved, and continues to be achieved, in the Africa-EU Partnership on peace and security.
The four programmes, which together include support totalling €110 million from the African Peace Facility, will provide funding to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and assist African institutions at regional and continental level –in particular the African Union Liaison Offices and African Standby Force training institutions.
The EU will continue to support the mission costs for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Additional EU funding of €67 million for costs until July 2012 will bring the EU contribution to AMISOM to a total of €325 million since 2007. AMISOM supports dialogue and reconciliation and provides protection to key infrastructures (e.g. government buildings and the Mogadishu International Airport) to enable the Transitional Federal Government and Institutions to carry out their functions. The mission is also assisting in the implementation of the National Security and Stabilisation plan, providing support to disarmament and stabilisation efforts, as well as facilitating humanitarian operations, including repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Current force levels have reached nearly 10,000. The continuing EU support, will allow AMISOM to continue to fulfil its mandate and to reach its total UN authorised strength of 12,000.
The EU has been one of the main funders of the operation, primarily through the African Peace Facility. The EU covers costs such as mission allowances, medical care, accommodation, fuel, and communication equipment.
- African Peace and Security Architecture Support Programme
Support to African capacity in the areas of conflict prevention and resolution, as well as post-conflict reconstruction and development will be increased. The EU has dedicated €28 million for the African Peace and Security Architecture Support Programme, at the level of both the continental (AUC) and regional institutions (Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms). This support will build capacity to coordinate and manage regional contributions to the Africa Standby Force.
- AU Liaison Offices
The EU will also strengthen the African Union's network of Liaison Offices with a contribution of €3.6 million. These offices are a vital link between the AU and the affected member states in all aspects of crisis and recovery. The Liaison Offices streamline, accelerate and simplify the AU’s contact with member states and regional organizations in crisis situations.
- Training institutions of the African Standby Force
Finally, an amount of €11.4 million will be dedicated to the African police, civilian and military training institutions of the African Standby Force. This contribution, which is tailored to the needs of each region and of the individual training centres, will help to develop a sound and effective training capacity across the continent for the needs of the police, civilian and military components of the African Standby Force.
The Africa-EU Partnership for Peace and Security is directly related to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) endorsed by Heads of States from Africa and Europe at the Summit in Lisbon in 2007. These three elements are firstly an enhanced dialogue on peace and security issues, secondly, full operationalisation of African Peace and Security Architecture and thirdly predictable funding for Africa-led peace support operations.