The Organization of African Unity (OAU), Africa's umbrella regional organization with 53 member states, has taken major steps in the past few years to strengthen its conflict prevention and peacekeeping capabilities. An OAU conflict settlement management was set up at the 1993 Cairo Summit aimed at resolving conflicts through consultations.
The OAU initially focused its activities on conflict prevention, early-warning systems and the provision of mediators in ongoing conflicts, but more recently it has also made efforts to improve its ability to carry out peacekeeping missions more efficiently. As UN involvement remains paramount when a conflict has already broken out, improving the coordination between the OAU and the UN is equally crucial.
The German government will continue to support initiatives on the continent which allow the OAU's and other regional organizations such as ECOMOG, an organization of several western African states or SADC, the Southern African Development Community, to develop an even more effective range of conflict prevention and peacekeeping instruments to maintain peace on the continent.
German financial assistance to UN and regional peacekeeping and conflict management activities in Africa (1995 - 1999)
Support to UN Peacekeeping missions:
8/1995-5/97: Secondment of 5 German mine clearing experts to UNAVEM III and donations of equipment (total cost: 2.1 million DM)
1998: 171,792 DM (100,000 US-$) to support police training in the framework of MINURCA
166,555 DM for the deployment of 150 FACA (Forces Armées Centrafricaines) members to support MINURCA in five electoral sites during the legislative elections under MINURCA supervision in December 1998
Support to UN research in the field of "Lessons Learned"
1996: 40,000 DM to support a UN seminar on lessons learned in Somalia
1997: 30,000 DM to support "lessons learned" evaluations on UNAMIR and UNAVEM
1999: 185,606 DM to support a "lessons learned" study on UNTAG, Namibia
Voluntary contributions to the OAU Peace Fund
1996/97: 500,000 DM (cash contribution and purchase of flak jackets, helmets and binoculars for OAU missions)
1996: 220,000 DM to support 2 OAU officers on loan to the DPKO
1998: 57,510 DM to support the OAU mission to the Comoros
56,110 DM to support OAU mediation between Eritrea and Ethiopia
Other activities related to the OAU:
1997: 188,000 DM for travel and other expenses of the then joint OAU/UN special envoy Mohamed Sahnoun
Support to ECOMOG
1996: 35 trucks (used) for ECOMOG in Liberia
1997: 27 jeeps (used) and some medical equipment for ECOMOG in Liberia
1998: 5000 uniforms for ECOMOG in Sierra Leone, worth 309,023 DM
1999: medicines and medical supplies worth 76,431 DM for ECOMOG in Guinea-Bissau
communications equipment worth approx. 640,000 DM for Ghana's EOCMOG contingent in Sierra Leone
office and basic communications equipment worth 150,000 DM for ECOMOG in Sierra Leone
Support for SADC efforts to enhance African peacekeeping capacities
1999: material, personal and financial support to the SADC peacekeeping training exercise "Blue Crane" amounting to more than 1 million DM
Burundi peace process
1996: 9,225 DM as travel grants for participants in peace talks
1997: 50,000 DM to support the Arusha process
1998: 388,000 DM to support the Arusha process
1999: 600,000 DM to support the Arusha process