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Top African Union official meets BRICS UN envoys: AU Fund in focus
July 28, 2016, 6:07 pm

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Smail Chergui (3rd from left) with BRICS envoys to the UN in New York on 27 July 2016 [Image: Indian Mission to the UN]

African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Smail Chergui (3rd from left) with BRICS envoys to the UN in New York on 27 July 2016 [Image: Indian Mission to the UN]

Smail Chergui, the African Union’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, met BRICS envoys to the UN in New York on Wednesday, during which he briefed them about the recent initiatives undertaken by the African Union Peace Fund, according to a senior BRICS official.

The meeting was held ahead of a UNSC open debate on “Peace-building in Africa”.

At the 27th AU Summit earlier this month in Kigali, Rwanda, the AU decided to operationalize the Peace Fund in order to finance African Union’s peace and security operations.

The Peace Fund is expected to gain $65 million per year from each of the continent’s five regions through an import levy of 0.2 per cent on eligible imports. The provision will increase to $80 million per region by 2020.

On Wednesday, the visiting African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Ambassador Smail Chergui met Chinese, Indian, Russian, Brazilian and South African envoys to the UN: Liu Jieyi, Syed Akbaruddin, Vitaly Churkin, Antonio Patriota and Jerry Matjila.

This meeting was the first of its kind.

Chergui hoped that this would be recognised in the UN system as a unique initiative by Africa to promote African solutions, a senior BRICS diplomat who followed the proceedings told The BRICS Post.

The six diplomats also discussed peace and security issues of the UN agenda relating to Africa including South Sudan and Burundi.

At least 272 people were killed in fierce fighting that broke out three weeks ago between troops loyal to the country’s rival leaders earlier this month. The UN says there have been at least 120 cases of sexual violence and rape against civilians in South Sudan’s capital Juba.

The country is “poised on the brink of an abyss,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

According to UNHCR data, hundreds have been killed and more than 285000 people have fled from Burundi to neighbouring countries during months of turmoil and unrest following President Pierre Nkurunziza announcement to run for office for a third term in April last year.

The African Union Peace Fund is in fulfilment of the commitment by African heads of state made in 2015, to finance 25 per cent of the cost of AU peace support operations.

The funding will be used to support the AU’s five peace and security programmes: African Stand by Force, Panel of the Wise, Continental Early Warning Systems, Capacity Building and Conflict Prevention.

BRICS nations have extensive trade and investment ties with the continent.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced at the United Nations General Assembly last year that India would step up training for troops from African countries.

Meanwhile, China started deploying hundreds of troops to South Sudan earlier last year to bolster the UN peace mission in the country – the first ever Chinese infantry battalion to be sent on external peacekeeping operations.

 

TBP

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