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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells California Republican Convention delegates the campaign will be 'a battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of the June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora