Rice: No US intent to engage in Africa militarily

Washington - Washington does not intend to engage in Africa militarily to resolve the continent's conflicts but is boosting efforts to train peacekeepers, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's National Security Adviser, made the comments just days before almost all of Africa's leaders descend on the US capital for an unprecedented summit.

"Contrary to some claims, the United States is not looking to militarise Africa or maintain a permanent military presence," Rice said at the United States Institute of Peace.

"But we are committed to helping our partners confront transnational threats to our shared security."

The Monday to Wednesday meeting will attract some 50 African leaders - almost all of them, apart from Western pariah figures like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir and Eritrea's Issaias Afeworki.

Rice, in her speech, referred to kidnappings and bombings by Boko Haram Islamists, the Nigeria mall attack by al-Shebaab rebels and how al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb controls parts of Mali.

"That is why we are stepping up our efforts to train peace keepers who are professional and effective forces who can secure the region and by extension the global community against terrorist threats," she added.

Since Obama took office, the United States has contributed close to $9bn to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa, Rice said.

And, she added, it has trained almost a quarter of a million peacekeepers from 25 different African countries since 2005.

"We are committed to making sure that African peacekeepers have the capacity to deploy quickly... in order to save lives and help avoid costlier international interventions down the line," Rice said.

Very reticent when it comes to all direct military engagement in Africa, the Obama administration is pushing the region's countries and institutions, such as the African Union, to set up peacekeeping forces for conflicts such as those in the Central African Republic, South Sudan or Somalia.

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Hugo Pelzer 2014-07-31 12:09:50 AM
To sum up the article: It's your bloody mess, we don't want to get involved.
Hugo Pelzer 2014-07-31 12:16:16 AM
"Since Obama took office, the United States has contributed close to $9bn to United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa, Rice said." Oh Obama, if you truly cared for the people of Africa, like our president does, you would have used the money to build yourself and your family a massive mansion. :P
Lebeoana Thabana 2014-07-31 02:51:15 AM
I've never liked the americans and I am not going to stop anytime soon....
Joy Thorpe 2014-07-31 02:29:17 PM
America - stay exactly where you are - you do not own the world ! You are not GOD - stay the hell out of Africa - Africa does not concern you. For Centuries you have stuck your noses where it does not belong, and have fueled wars by providing both sides with weapons - you are the most violent nation - keep your nose in your own country - and leave africa to the africans!