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Addis Ababa, 17 November 2016: The High Representative/Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, and the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, met in Brussels on 17 November 2016 on the margins of the Brussels Conference on the Central African Republic (CAR). They discussed European Union support to African peace efforts in general and to AMISOM in particular. 

Peace and security are at the heart of EU-Africa partnership and both committed to more intensified consultation to address the challenges facing the continent.  They agreed that the EU support through the "Africa Peace Facility", almost two billion euro since its creation, has been at the foundation of the EU-Africa partnership.  It currently represents the only sustained funding for Africa's capacity to deliver on the ambition of a conflict free continent.

 

Both recalled that the EU has been a leading and uninterrupted contributor to Somalia. The EU is now supporting recovery and security efforts with politics, military and civil training missions, a major naval operation ATALANTA, development and humanitarian support.  The EU has invested more than €2.5 billion to Somalia since 2008, of which €1.2 billion has been in support of AMISOM.

 

They discussed the EU’s decision to reduce the payment of AMISOM troop allowance by 20% in order to be able to respond to other security needs on the continent, which the AU had previously expressed concern about and agreed to continue to work together with the UN and other international partners to find ways to find ways of bridging the gap and deal with all challenges, as failure in Somalia at this critical juncture is not an option for the international community. 

 

They exchanged views on the situation of the Burundian National Defence Force (BNDF) contingent in Somalia, bearing in mind the proposal made by the EU that would allow for continued funding and the AU position that there should be non-discrimination in the payment to all AMISOM forces, and agreed on the need for urgent consultations to resolve the matter.

 

HRVP Federica Mogherini and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui welcomed the outcome of the AU High Level Summit on Libya and reiterated their resolve to address the political stalemate, the security challenges and the dire humanitarian situation in the country.

 

The two expressed concern about the prevailing security situation in northern Mali and exchanged views on the proposal by the Sahel countries to mobilise a regional force to combat terrorism.

 

Both agreed to continue their efforts and also to explore a new level of strategic discussion about coordinated support to Africa's efforts to address security challenges in the continent.

 

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Posted by Kodjo Tchioffo

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