African Union Peacekeeping

Tension over poor peace force support

Published October 25, 2010 by BusinessDay
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TENSION arising from the United Nations (UN) Security Council’s reliance on African nations to supply peacekeepers has come into sharper focus as diplomats, UN and African Union (AU) officials sparred over how to stretch their resources to meet the boom in peacekeeping.

A report on Friday from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasised the increasing role of AU peacekeeping. Whether the missions are led by UN or AU forces, African conflicts occupy about 70% of the security council’s usual monthly agenda.

Civilian casualties mount in Mogadishu

Published October 22, 2010 by LA Times
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When Mohamed Ali Dahir, a 21-year-old business administration student, used to board the bus to school, he wasn't worried about being prepared for an exam or arriving late to a lecture. Instead, he braced himself for gunfire or other violence that might erupt while he was traveling the streets of Mogadishu.

Even though his bus is clearly marked as school transportation, he said, there were times when even "the government soldiers open fire at us as we return from our schools or college."

UN council asks details for AU Somalia force boost

Published October 22, 2010 by Reuters Africa
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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Security Council countries voiced support on Thursday for boosting the African Union peacekeeping force in conflict-torn Somalia, but told the AU to provide more details of its plans first, diplomats said.The AU wants to step up its AMISOM force to 20,000 from the current level of 7,200 but needs funding from the United Nations and Security Council authorization. It also wants the council to impose a no-fly-zone and naval blockade on Somalia.

AU stages joint exercises of its peacekeepers

Published October 21, 2010 by Daily Nation
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Africa’s top military officers and civilians gathered in Addis Ababa today to hold a joint military exercise called Amani Africa under the continent’s Standby Force programme.

The African Union, with a support of the European Union and Canada launched the non-combat military exercise to improve the continent’s capacity to respond to conflicts and to enhance peace-keeping operations.

15 killed as Somali troops begin new offensive

Published October 18, 2010 by AP via Washington Post
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NAIROBI, Kenya -- An offensive launched by Somali government troops has killed at least 15 people as the weak, U.N.-backed government attempts to win back control of areas held by militants, officials said Monday.

The government says the offensive, which began Sunday, has recorded some early successes, with militants fleeing from at least one town near the border with Kenya.

Female Forces to Aid Darfur Peacekeeping Efforts

Published October 14, 2010 by PBS
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A team of 92 female Rwandan police officers is being deployed to Sudan’s conflict-ridden Darfur region this week where they will be tasked with advising UNAMID – a United Nations peacekeeping force – on gender-based violence and with protecting children.

The Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), which first allowed women into its combat forces in 2008, also sent seven female soldiers, and is preparing to send another group of twenty.  Women now account for approximately 300 out of the force’s 8,500 members, including a one-star general.

UNAMID's Gambari: Time to Push for Darfur Agreement

Published October 12, 2010 by VOA
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Ibrahim Gambari runs the United Nations' largest peacekeeping operation in Darfur.  The African Union-United Nations hybrid force known as UNAMID has more than 25,000 military, police and civilian staff with an annual budget of nearly $2 billion.

The referendum expected on January 9 will decide whether mainly African and Christian southern Sudan secedes from the mostly Muslim and Arab north.

Former Ghanaian President Rawlings Reportedly New AU Somalia Envoy

Published October 12, 2010 by VOA
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Reports quoting African Union sources said the continental organization has chosen former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings as its new envoy for Somalia.

The reports said Mr. Rawlings will help promote peace and reconciliation, as well as focus more international attention on the war-ravaged country.

Armed men kidnap peacekeeper in Sudan's Darfur

Published October 8, 2010 by Reuters
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(Reuters) - Armed men abducted a civilian peacekeeper in the capital of Sudan's North Darfur state Thursday hours after U.N. Security Council envoys arrived in the city, the mission said.

It was believed to be the first time kidnappers had seized a foreigner in El Fasher, a development certain to dismay aid officials in Darfur who have pulled staff back to the main towns to escape a wave of abductions in remote locations.

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