Column on EU, ACP and related global affairs
The EU announces new funds to strengthen security in Africa
Brussels, 13 December 2013
The EU will today confirm that it will provide €12.5 million through the African Peace Facility to improve the management of African-led peace support operations. These funds will concretely support the establishment of a 'Command, Control, Communication and Information System' (C3IS) over a period of 2 years.
The C3IS will provide secure data, voice and video services through satellite communication between the African Union, the sub-regional organisations and the peace missions deployed at country level. It will also provide IT systems to convey orders, generate reports and maps for the management of the operations on the ground. This way, the new EU funds will contribute to better equipping African regional organisations in the area of peace of security.
Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development said: "There can be no development without security and the African Peace Facility’s work is fundamental in laying the foundations for sustainable development across the continent. Our new support will help our African partners to set up the necessary communication and management systems to rapidly deploy and manage African-led peace support operations wherever they are needed.”
"This programme is one of the concrete deliverables of the Joint Africa-EU Partnership aiming at establishing long-lasting African crisis management capabilities, based on the lessons learned from recent and on-going peace support operations such as AFISMA and AFISMA-CAR" said Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-president of the European Commission.
Today's programme is the result of technical work conducted jointly by the African Union and the EU, as part of the AMANI Africa exercise. The AMANI Africa comprises a number of exercises and training activities conducted since 2008 to make the African Standby Force operational - which is the main operational tool of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
Background: Ongoing support to security in Africa
Since 2004 the EU has provided €1.1 billion through the African Peace Facility (APF). The APF was created in 2004 as an innovative instrument constituting the main source of funding to support the African peace and security.
Since its initiation the APF has been effective in backing African efforts in the area of peace and security on the continent by providing predictable aid. It has allowed a number of African-led peace operations to take place, such as the missions in Somalia (AMISOM), or Mali (AFISMA) and provided a significant contribution to the strengthening of African institutional capacities and cooperation in peace and security at the continental and sub-regional level. Costs related to military equipment are not covered by the Facility.
The Facility has also supported a number of actions on mediation and conflict prevention actions. It has been used, for example, to support the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan, which has played an important role in the attainment of peace and stability and conflict prevention within and between the two states.
Furthermore, the APF has contributed to a more comprehensive political dialogue between the EU and Africa in the area of peace and security.
On 5 December 2013 the Political and Security Committee of the EU endorsed a request from the African Union (dated 21 November 2013) addressed to the European Union for funding of €50 million for the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR).
The AFISM-CAR will contribute to the stabilization of the country and the protection of local populations, creating conditions conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance and the reform of the security and defence sector.
Financial support from the EU should be mobilised through the African Peace Facility (part of the European Development Fund - EDF) and should cover the costs of allowances, accommodation and feeding the troops deployed in the field. The salaries of civilian AFISM-CAR personnel and various operational costs such as transport, communication or medical services should also be supported by the Facility. This support will be essential for the proper functioning of the mission.