African states are increasingly assuming responsibility for preventing as well as resolving conflicts on their continent. First experiences, for example with the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), have shown that an African leadership capacity is required to coordinate such African peace missions.
For this the African Union needs support. The Federal Foreign Office will therefore enable the AU to construct a headquarters in Addis Ababa for coordinating peace missions. This new building is to house an operations centre for coordinating and monitoring the AU's international peace missions as well as a situation centre to support the continent's early warning system, which is currently under development. The Federal Foreign Office has made some 20 million euro available for this project.
In a letter to Jean Ping, the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission, who took up office today (28 April), Federal Foreign Minister Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote:
"The African Union aspires to resolve conflicts in Africa by its own efforts, with its own mediators and, if necessary, with the help of its own peacekeeping troops. I am therefore particularly pleased to inform you today that Germany intends to provide financial assistance for the construction of a new building for the African Union's Peace and Security Department."