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USUN Press Release

Washington, DC
March 28, 2007

Statement by Ambassador Jackie Sanders, U.S. Alternative Representative to the UN for Special Political Affairs, in the open debate on Peace and Security in Africa


Welcome, Minister Dlamini-Zuma to the Security Council. Thank you to the South African presidency for raising this important topic for debate in the Security Council issue of peace and security in Africa is of pressing concern for the members of the Council, and the African Union and its sub-regional organizations have played an invaluable role in bringing many of Africa's conflicts towards peaceful resolutions.

The African Union has designed and is starting to resource its own Peace and Security Architecture to prevent and resolve conflict and to respond to other security challenges on the continent. Over the past few years, the AU has made great strides in implementing these designs and has done so with the support of the international community.

We recognize the efforts of the African Union throughout the region, but particularly in the conflicts in Sudan and Somalia. The international community looks to the African Union for leadership in preventing and responding to conflicts in the region both through political mediation and peacekeeping

For the past two years, the African Union Mission in Sudan has up to 7,700 personnel in Darfur to try to end the genocide and create conditions conducive to a lasting political solution to the Darfur crisis. The AU played a crucial role in brokering the 2004 Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement and the Darfur Peace Agreement in 2006, and has worked hard to implement it on the ground. AMIS has done an excellent job, but its mission in Darfur is overmatched by the challenges it currently faces.

In Somalia, the AU stabilization mission stepped into a difficult environment to provide essential on-the-ground security for Somalia's Transitional Federal Institutions as part of a wider political reconciliation process for the Somali people.

Cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations is essential.
The U. S. supports continued efforts by the UN to strengthen the AUI13 peace and security architecture across the full range of the conflict management spectrum -- from early warning and conflict prevention to peacekeeping to post-conflict reconstruction.
International efforts cannot succeed if they are not coordinated and complementary.

Coordination between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations in West Africa has expedited transitions from conflict to stability and authoritarianism to democracy. Effective AU-led peacekeeping in Africa is not only about a consistent funding base, and it is, of course, not the UN's role to provide funding for non-UN operations. Assessed UN peacekeeping contributions must be used only for Security Council-mandated operations, under clear UN command and control, with full accountability ensured through the UN's financial and administrative procedures. Effective planning, and mission management are also essential to effective peacekeeping, and the UN and AU can and should work more closely together on improving these areas of AU operations and building long term institutional capabilities.

Advice and experts from other major partners including the US, EU, NATO, UK, Canada, and others can also provide valuable support to the AU. In Sudan, UN and partner personnel should be quickly integrated into AMIS Force and Sector Headquarters.

The U.S. contributes generously to the operations of regional organizations, demonstrating our support for their efforts to solve regional conflicts. We initially contributed almost $20 million to support AMISOM, including support for the rapid deployment of the Ugandan contingent as the lead element of AMISOM, which now has 1,680 troops on the ground in Somalia. We expect troops from other contributing countries to begin arriving in the coming weeks.

We have provided over $350 million to AMIS over the past two years, and are committed to assisting it in its transition to a UN-AU force. We call on others in the international community to also contribute.

We will continue to assist regional organizations by providing resources directly where they can be most effective. We will also continue to provide capacity building assistance to the AU peace and security architecture through training, equipment, advisors, and other logistical support.

Thank you, Minister Dlamini-Zuma.


Released on March 28, 2007

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