The United States strongly supports the work of more than 67,000 African peacekeepers serving with the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) in Africa. These men and women are working to protect civilians, prevent violence, and promote security and stability in many of Africa’s most complex conflicts.
Since 2009, the United States has committed to provide nearly $892 million to develop African peacekeeping capacity and strengthen African institutions. The United States has trained and equipped more than a quarter-million African troops and police for service in UN and AU peacekeeping operations.
Saving Lives Through Rapid Response
African countries have made clear that rapid response to crises is at the top of their peace and security agenda. To support this priority, the United States announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership (APRRP, “A-Prep” for short) a new investment of $110 million per year for 3-5 years to build the capacity of African militaries to rapidly deploy peacekeepers in response to emerging conflict, a concept that holds powerful life-saving potential.
The United States will partner with an initial group of six countries—Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda—to develop a rapid response capability program, by building improved capacity in areas such as military training, equipment maintenance and repair, institutional support, and interoperability with other Africa-based peacekeeping forces.
Under this program, African partner nations will commit to maintaining forces and equipment ready to rapidly deploy and state their intent to deploy as part of UN or AU missions to respond to emerging crises.
The United States is not the only member of the international community that has a stake in this endeavor, so we will reach out to international partners to discuss how we can build a coalition to increase coordination on our goal to fill gaps in peacekeeping response.
We are also prepared to provide support, including training for headquarters staff and key enabler functions, such as engineers, to catalyze the AU’s efforts to establish its African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC).
Building African Peacekeeping Capacity
Our new initiative builds on the United States’ longstanding commitment to developing partner capacity to support African countries and regional organizations to meet the challenges they face.
Our Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) program has helped to build the capacity of African partners to conduct peacekeeping training themselves.
Since 2005, through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, which is primarily funded by GPOI, the United States has trained more than 248,000 peacekeepers from 25 partner countries across the continent, prior to their deployment to UN and AU peacekeeping operations. The United States has expended more than $241 million in ACOTA activities since 2009 alone.
In addition, through GPOI funding, the U.S. Africa Command has conducted specialized peacekeeping training for the African Union and 22 African partner countries since 2005 aimed at building a cadre of professional peacekeepers.
The United States also has provided training and equipment to more than 1,100 African police prior to their deployment to UN peacekeeping operations in Darfur, South Sudan, and Mali, through the International Police Peacekeeping Operations Support (IPPOS) program, underscoring the critical role of civilians in peacekeeping.
Supporting AU-led efforts to Respond to Conflict
The United States values the increased AU leadership and political will to mount responses to African conflicts, and is committed to strengthening the AU’s institutional capacity to launch and support peacekeeping operations, as well as increase interoperability among AU states during peacekeeping deployments.
Since 2005, the United States has provided a peace and security advisor at the AU Headquarters, provided assistance to the AU’s Peace Support Operations Division, and provided training on defense resource management and command and control.
The Department of Defense supports numerous training exercises that seek to increase partners’ interoperability in complex operations and strengthen the African Standby Force’s ability to plan, deploy, employ sustain, and redeploy troops to conflict areas.
The United States is committed to delivering over the next year approximately $70 million worth of deployment equipment to African peacekeepers, including for AU forces in Somalia and the Central African Republic, which will give willing peacekeepers enhanced tools to carry out their missions.
Supporting U.N. and AU Peacekeeping Operations
The United States continues to advance initiatives to strengthen UN and AU peacekeeping capabilities, including by seeking to expand the number, capacity, and effectiveness of troop and police contributors that are on the ground furthering Africa’s peace and security.
The United States is by far the world's largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. In FY 2013, the United States provided more than $1.7 billion in assessed contributions for UN peacekeeping in Africa, bringing our total assessed contributions to nearly $9 billion since 2009.
Central African Republic (CAR): The AU-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) and French forces operating alongside them are working to prevent further ethnic violence in CAR, and to restore stability and protect civilians. The United States has committed to provide up to $100 million in support for these forces, and the President has requested up to $428 million in FY 2015 for anticipated assessed contributions during FY 2014 and FY 2015 for the new UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA). These efforts underscore U.S. concern for the people of the CAR and aim to support restoration of security and provide humanitarian aid, while promoting accountability, reconciliation, and democratic governance.
Cote d’Ivoire: U.S. assessed contributions for the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) since 2009 exceed $885 million, and are helping UNOCI to protect civilians, support disarmament efforts, and monitor and promote human rights. The United States also has provided critical support to Cote d’Ivoire’s post-conflict recovery, including bolstering border security, civilian protection, and stability in the wake of the 2011 election crisis.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Since 2009, the United States has provided more than $2.1 billion in assessed contributions for the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), to help protect civilians and support the DRC government in consolidating peace. The United States funds an advisor to assist Congolese military justice personnel assigned to the MONUSCO-supported Prosecution Support Cells to investigate and prosecute serious crimes. Three U.S. military personnel also currently serve in MONUSCO. The United States strongly supported the revision of MONUSCO’s mandate in 2013 to empower it to take appropriate military action against abusive and destabilizing militias with the introduction of an intervention brigade (IB), and provided training to IB members prior to deployment.
Liberia: The United States has provided more than $879 million in assessed contributions since 2009 for the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), enabling UNMIL to provide critical security during Liberia’s post-conflict transition, including a successful election in 2011 and the rebuilding of Liberia’s armed forces. Five U.S. military personnel currently serve in UNMIL, and a U.S. flag officer recently completed a tour as the UNMIL chief of staff.
Mali: To address the instability in Mali, the United States has provided more than $115 million in assessed contributions for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The United States also provided airlift support and committed to provide up to $173 million in logistical support, training, and critical equipment, such as vehicles and communications, to African peacekeepers deploying to MINUSMA and its predecessor, the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). Nine U.S. military personnel currently serve in MINUSMA. U.S. support has enabled MINUSMA to provide critical stabilization and security and created the conditions for delivery of humanitarian aid and Mali’s pursuit of national reconciliation.
Somalia: To help combat terrorism in Somalia and support the Somali Federal Government’s efforts to build security and stability, the United States has committed to provide more than $512 million to provide support to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to build capacity to counter al-Shabaab in Somalia and provide space for political progress. This includes pre-deployment training, provision of military equipment, and advisors on the ground. Additionally, the United States has provided more than $455 million in U.S contributions for the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA), thereby bolstering support to African Union forces.
South Sudan: U.S. assessed contributions for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) since it was created in 2011 have been $635 million, supporting UNMISS efforts to protect civilians and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Five U.S. military personnel currently serve in UNMISS. U.S. leadership was essential in streamlining the mission’s mandate to focus on protection of civilians.
Sudan-Darfur/Abyei: Since 2009, the United States has provided nearly $2.4 billion in assessed contributions for the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), and more than $182 million in assessed contributions for the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). U.S. support for these operations has strengthened civilian protection, facilitated humanitarian assistance, and promoted human rights and the rule of law.