Development and peace go hand in hand

I attended last week in Istanbul the high level forum on Somalia. Some time ago, following decades of civil war, this country was often referred to as a 'failed state'. Thanks to the enormous joint efforts first and foremost from Somalia, supported by the international community – notably the EU –progress has been quite remarkable.

In order to stabilise the country and foster political dialogue and reconciliation, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) was created back in 2007. Since the creation of AMISOM, the EU has allocated more than €1 billion to support it. AMISOM's financial needs have been constantly increasing, and we have made lots of efforts to provide the additional support needed. For example, we have already increased to €900 million our initial overall APF budget of €750 million for the time period 2014-2016.  

There can be no development without peace, and no peace without development. Development and peace go hand in hand. We have all witnessed the dramatic increase of insecurity challenges over the last years with the call to the European Union to support other African operations in Central African Republic, Guinea Bissau, or recently the Multinational Joint Task Force to Combat Boko Haram.

Despite the increased budget provided to the APF, it would be impossible to finance future operations at the same level. In view of this, the EU decided, after thorough discussion with our African partners, to cap contributions to all Peace and Security Operations troop allowances to 80%, including AMISOM. This does not mean that the EU is asking to decrease the allowances of AMISOM soldiers or to cut anywhere else. Instead, the EU has taken this decision in the clear expectation that difference of 20% will be covered by the African Union and the AMISOM Troop Contributing Countries.   

AMISOM's presence is crucial and the sacrifices of countries providing troops are priceless. AMISOM can count on the EU's continued support. But we need other partners to contribute. Time has come for a global engagement by all. The threats to peace in Africa have multiplied and changed in character in the last years. If we all agree that activities carried out by terrorist organisations like Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram and others are global threats, then we must be coherent and we must all rise to the challenge of assisting Africa with a global response. We therefore urge for a collective effort from all partners in the international community, including of course our African partners, to commit themselves to contribute to the African Union and its initiatives to bring peace.

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