Australia continues to expand peacekeeping engagement in Africa
Australia has contributed an additional $1.5 million to the United Nations Trust Fund for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). This supplements the earlier contribution made in January this year, taking the total contribution in 2012 to $3.5 million.
The grant will be used to purchase equipment identified by AMISOM as vital to ensuring that troops can continue their fight against the terrorist organisation Al‑Shabaab.
AMISOM troops have achieved hard-fought security gains throughout 2012 and the international community must continue to provide critical support to sustain this momentum.
As well, Australia is exploring ways to further support peacekeeping capacity in Africa.
A team of 12 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel from the Peace Operations Training Centre recently conducted a United Nations Military Observers Course in Rwanda.
The course was delivered to an audience of students drawn from the Defence forces of Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Australia.
The course ran from 21 May to 8 June and qualified 36 officers as UN Military Observers. This was the first time the ADF program of remote peacekeeping training has been extended to Africa.
These activities reflect an expanding program of ADF engagement in Africa, which focuses on building African peacekeeping capacity and supporting the African Union’s commitment to addressing Africa’s peace and security challenges.
The ADF also contributes to counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia through the deployment of an Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigate, which is flexibly cross-tasked between the US-led Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Forces on counter terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security.