China gives $12m towards AU peace, security efforts

The agreement was signed at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa/AFP

NAIROBI, Nov 9 – China and the African Union Council have signed an agreement aimed at boosting the AU’s peace and security efforts on the continent.

“Under the agreements, the Chinese side will provide a total of 80 million yuan ($12.8 million) to cover the expenses of logistical materials supplied to the AU’s peacekeeping operations,” read a statement received on Friday from the AU.

“The agreements came after a commitment by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Forum on China Africa Cooperation earlier this year, to increase support to Africa,” the statement continued.

The agreement was signed at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.

“This will help us improve our operations in Somalia where we are now moving into a stabilisation phase,” Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the AU commission, was quoted as saying in the press release.

In November 2011, China, which recently built the new AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, had already pledged 17 million yuan ($2.7 million) in aid to Uganda.

The aid included assistance to help Ugandan troops from the AU force serving in Somalia under the umbrella of the African Union Mission in Somalia that defended the shaky Transitional Federal Government forces against the Al Qaeda-linked Shabaab insurgents.

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