News / Africa

AU: Standby Force Needed to Respond to Conflicts

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (2nd R) walks with African Union (AU) delegates at the 22nd AU summit in Addis Ababa, Jan. 31, 2014.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz (2nd R) walks with African Union (AU) delegates at the 22nd AU summit in Addis Ababa, Jan. 31, 2014.
Gabe Joselow
The African Union summit wrapped up Friday with a call to fast-track an African standby force to better respond to conflicts across the continent.  AU leaders say the recent violence in South Sudan and the Central African Republic underscores the need for rapid intervention. 

In his closing statement, newly appointed AU chairman Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the president of Mauritania, said African nations must commit resources to resolve the continent’s problems.

“Africa must do what is necessary” he said, “to accelerate the operationalization of the African standby force and the African capacity for immediate response to crises in a spirit of continental solidarity,” he said.

The African Standby Force was supposed to be launched in 2010, with contingents based across Africa, but the date has been postponed repeatedly.  The AU now wants the force to be operational by next year.

In the meantime, some African nations inspired by the 2012 crisis in Mali have called for a temporary rapid intervention force that would respond to conflicts until the Standby Force is ready.

Security issues dominated the AU summit, with concerns about the conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Earlier Friday, envoys from the East African regional group IGAD called for teams to be sent to South Sudan to monitor a shaky ceasefire deal designed to end deadly clashes between the government and rebel soldiers.

Reports of continued fighting have already threatened the week-old deal.

Speaking at the meeting, the U.S. special envoy to South Sudan, Donald Booth, warned  “there will be consequences” for anyone who tries to undermine the peace process.

On Saturday, the AU is hosting a donors' conference in Addis Ababa to raise money for the African-led peacekeeping force in the CAR, torn apart by months of political and inter-religious violence.  The Red Cross reports another 30 people were killed this week in the capital.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Telescope
February 03, 2014 12:32 PM
Given all Africa's coups, intercine violence and instability it is hard to believe that peace will ever come to this continent and the UN merely issues statements condemning them. Rwanda, the CAR Sierra Leone, Nigeria and others are some examples. However in fairness the West also has some explaining to do regarding consistency given the past in Africa.

by: Bol from: Bor
January 31, 2014 3:21 PM
An envoy from the US is using a threatening to Africans in the Africans summit! The US have to adjust to recent realities. South Sudan is an African state in Africa. All those bullshits that the US gave birth to South Sudanese and South Sudan.

And that South Sudan should be constantly treated like a US 51st state aren't going to be bought by the South Sudanese any more. The US can go to hell with its evil aids that its kill people then threaten people who don't want it evil intrigues.
In Response

by: Anonymous
January 31, 2014 9:05 PM
The irony is that even the Africa force, if created, will need to be funded by USA and EU. The AU leaders do not have money for such, what they get is for their personal use and their juntas. The chance of a force like that are not great. Short of serious regional bodies like SADC,what will remain is the current warlords to try proxy wars in a dash for spoils in the name if trying to solve problems. So far IGAD is dysfunctional, otherwise there would not have been a unilateral deployment of troops/militia of a member state to help Kiir agaisnt part of his own army and citizens.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs