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US to provide $110m to African countries annually for Peacekeeping

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Melinda Tabler-Stone
Melinda Tabler-Stone

The United States (US) would for the next five years spend $110 million annually to enable African countries to build capacity for the rapid deployment of peacekeepers to respond to emerging conflicts.

Madam Melinda Tabler-Stone, the Deputy US Ambassador to Ghana, said the initiative formed part of the decision taken in 2014 during the United States-Africa Leader’s Summit, aimed at building the capacity of African militaries to rapidly deploy peacekeepers.

Ms Tabler-Stone said this, on Tuesday, at a workshop on Peace Operations and Security Challenges in West Africa, organised by the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS), Washington, in collaboration with the US Embassy in Ghana.

The three-day workshop brought together participants in the West African sub region, representatives from the ECOWAS and African Union Secretariats, Chad and Rwanda.

Ms Tabler-Stone stated that so far, the ACSS in collaboration with the KAIPTC, had trained more than 11,000 military, police, and civilian personnel to help address peace operations and security challenges in Africa.

She said the US Government had provided more than $4 billion in military support to countries across the globe between 2008 and 2015, adding that, it continued to be the largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping missions with nearly 30 per cent of all of its funding.

The Deputy US Ambassador praised Ghana for its contributions towards UN peacekeeping operations, which had now seen the nation supplying more than 3,000 police, military observers and troops throughout West Africa.

“Together, we are advancing peace and security by countering violent extremism, building national capacities in support of long-term security, and combating terrorism through effective governance, development and rule of law,” she added.

She said such collaboration would prevent transnational crime by assisting with border, marine, aviation, cyber, and financial security to counter illicit drugs and arms trade, human trafficking and money laundering.

Ms Tabler-Stone said that the US Government had helped to train 250,000 African troops from 25 African nations to serve in the UN and AU peacekeeping missions since 2009.

Mr David Baker, the Academic Coordinator, US Africa Command in Stuttgart, said the workshop would bring together African peacekeeping veterans, peacekeeping trainers, security experts, international partners and American Government officials who would analyse and adjust their approaches to conflicts resolution in West Africa amidst changing the security landscape.

He appealed to the participants to ensure that all efforts to ensure peace in the West African sub region were achieved.

Source: GNA

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