Ambassador Nikki Haley, the United States (US) envoy to the United Nations (UN) has stated that the African Union (AU) plays a key role in the fight against violent extremism but also that the body must justify any financial support from the UN with its own key performance indicators.
Haley was delivering remarks at a UN Security Council meeting which focused on the AU’s peacekeeping and counter-terrorism efforts on the continent.
According to her, even though the AU has chalked successes in anticipating, mediating and working to avert conflicts, ‘‘before considering moving forward on any framework resolution with regard to financial support through the UN, we will look for implementation and concrete results from the AU’s own benchmarks and timelines.”
Before considering moving forward on any framework resolution with regard to financial support through the UN, we will look for implementation and concrete results from the AU’s own benchmarks and timelines.
She further admitted that AU’s efforts were ‘‘in some of the most challenging environments in the world,’‘ adding that the UN was ‘‘encouraged by the prospect of more effective, self-sufficient, and African-led peace operations.’‘
The AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is the foremost operation led by the continental bloc as part of efforts to combat the Al-Shabaab insurgents in Somalia. AMISOM troop contributing countries include Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Police contributing countries also include Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
African Heads of State last year resolved to operationalize the AU Peace Fund initiative in order to finance peace and security operations on the continent.
Each of the five regional blocs under the AU are expected to contribute about $65 million each year through an import levy of about 0.2% on eligible imports as a means of addressing the funding gap the AU has been facing. The levy is expected to increase to $80 million by the year 2020.
According to the Council on Foreign relations, as of May 2015, there were nine UN peacekeeping missions in Africa supported by more than eighty thousand troops and fifteen thousand civilians.
80 percent of all UN peacekeepers are deployed in Africa. The largest missions are in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Darfur (jointly administered with the AU), South Sudan, and Mali.