Tags: US | Africa

US Pledges Up to $550 Million for African Rapid Response Forces

Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 10:26 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON — The United States announced on Wednesday plans to spend $110 million a year over the next three to five years to help African nations develop peacekeeping forces that can be rapidly deployed to head off militant threats and other crises.

President Barack Obama unveiled the program during the third day of a summit of African heads of state in Washington, along with another U.S. plan to spend an initial $65 million to bolster security institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia, the official said.

The United States plans to partner with Senegal, Ghana, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda to develop rapid response forces. Those forces would be ready to deploy as part of United Nations' or African Union missions.

"The United States doesn't have a desire to expand and create a big footprint inside of Africa," Obama said at a news conference at the conclusion of the summit.

"What we want to make sure we can do is partner with the African Union ... with individual countries, to build up their capacity," he said.

Reuters reported earlier that Obama would make the announcement.

"We've seen over time increasingly capable African peacekeepers who are deploying to address crises across the continent," an administration official said.

"But there continues to be a gap in systematically supporting these peacekeepers to help them deploy more quickly and to help them better sustain themselves once deployed."

From Somalia to the Sahel, the United States has been increasingly backing African-led military efforts to counter Islamist militants, while avoiding direct involvement in those conflicts.

It says it has trained more than a quarter-million African troops and police for service in U.N. and African Union peacekeeping operations. Recently, it sent a specialist team to help Nigeria search for the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamist group Boko Haram.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told reporters there was a need for "troop contributing countries" to help serve as rapid reaction forces to deal with groups such as Boko Haram, al Shabaab and al Qaeda affiliates.

"So we're thinking in our bilateral relationships, how can we ensure that there is a group of countries that are ready and able to step into the emergencies," she said.

The new funds would start bolstering U.S. military efforts in Africa during the next fiscal year, which starts in October. Unlike previous funds, these would be geared directly to ensuring a rapid response to emerging crises by building capacity in African nations.

"We'll have increased training, particularly to train the trainer and to train specialized enabler units," the official said.

Another program Obama unveiled, dubbed the Security Governance Initiative, would aim to strengthen institutions in African nations to address a range of issues, which could include border security, the official said.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

North Korea's Internet Access Crashes, Reason Unknown

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 14:06 PM

North Korea's access to the Internet has been hit with outages and is offline today, according to a network-monitoring c . . .

Singer Joe Cocker, 70, Dies of Lung Cancer

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 13:45 PM

Joe Cocker, the raspy-voiced British singer known for his frenzied cover of With a Little Help From My Friends, the te . . .

John Kerry to Cuba: 'Tear Down The Digital Wall'

Monday, 22 Dec 2014 12:12 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a challenge to Cuba to "tear down the digital wall," evoking former President Ronal . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved