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

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects 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.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs