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Multi-million dollar project to tackle conflict

[Ethiopia] Amara Essy who has presided over the birth of the AU. IRIN/Anthony Mitchell
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is backing a multi-million dollar project to combat “the scourge of violent conflicts” in Africa. The scheme, which will cost US $6.4 million, is part of a three-year project aimed at boosting efforts by the newly formed African Union to tackle wars on the continent. Among the areas that the project will help finance, is the AU’s much-heralded Peace and Security Council (PSC), which has yet to get off the ground. The AU, which replaced the Organisation of African Unity, wants to set up a UN-style Security Council with new powers aimed at ensuring peace on the continent. The PSC will be able to intervene in conflicts and could soon be matched with an African peacekeeping force. The PSC can act to restore order in a country or stop a country from forming an alliance that is “incompatible with the principles and objectives” of the Union. It can also take action if a country allows its territory to be used as a base for “subversion” against another African country. But so far only a handful of countries, including Ethiopia, have ratified the scheme. UNDP has provided some US $2 million for the scheme, while the remainder is made up from countries such as Germany, Norway, Sweden and Canada. “The principal expected achievement of the project will be a more effective operation of the AU peace and security framework at all levels,” UNDP said. “It is also expected to impact on the people of Africa who have suffered greatly from the scourge of violent conflict.” The OAU, which was replaced by the AU in July 2002, was often criticised for failing to condemn or take action regarding conflict in Africa.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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