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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid