Friday, April 23, 2010

"U.S. Africa Experts Encourage African Union to Do More Despite Money Shortages"

I'm quoted in Nico Colombant's VOA story here. Here are the quotes:
As a top African Union delegation wraps up several days of high-level government and business meetings in Washington, Africa experts in the United States say the pan-African body has made great strides in its principles, but still lacks resources to bring meaningful change.

A former U.S. ambassador in Africa, David Shinn, says the African Union has done a much better job in recent years in condemning coups.

"The African Union has made enormous strides in being more critical of governments that come to power illegally in Africa," said David Shinn. "They have spoken out in the case of Togo, Mauritania, Madagascar, recently in Niger and probably several that I am not thinking of at the moment and I give them great credit for that because 15 years ago they would not have done that."

...The African Union also recently sent peacekeepers to conflict zones like Sudan, Somalia and the Comoros Islands, but with many challenges, according to former Ambassador Shinn.

"They have not been completely successful in any of those locations, because they do not have the resources to fund those kinds of efforts and the AU is simply at this point not financially in a position to conduct a very expensive peacekeeping operation," he said.

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