Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
28 June 1996
Shortly before my visit as a guest to the Organisation of African Unity
(OAU) Heads of State and Government Meeting in Cameroon from 8 to 10 July,
I am pleased to announce today funding commitments to three key African
In keeping with Australia's desire to play some part in resolving the suffering
caused by ethnic and regional conflicts in Africa, the Government is contributing
a total of $225,000 towards important conflict prevention and dispute settlement
I have agreed to contribute $100,000 to the Organisation of African Unity
Peace Fund. The OAU Peace Fund is the funding base of the OAU Mechanism
for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution.
The Mechanism aims to assist the OAU in conflict prevention, management
and resolution so that African nations can assume greater responsibility
for resolving the continent's conflicts. Its activities have concentrated
on conflicts in Burundi, Rwanda, Mozambique, the Horn of Africa and West
A further $100,000 will be contributed to the New York based International
Peace Academy (IPA) which works closely with the United Nations and the
OAU on strategies for managing conflict in Africa.
The IPA is currently organising consultations on conflict management with
African leaders and establishing a joint OAU/IPA Task force on Peacemaking
and Peacekeeping in Africa. The Australian funding will be divided equally
between these two valuable projects.
Australians have been shocked and saddened by the terrible conflict in Burundi.
Former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, with the support of the European
Union, the United States and the OAU, has played an important brokering
role in seeking to avert further
suffering, promoting dialogue and national reconciliation in recent discussions
with key players.
I have agreed to contribute $25,000 to Mr Nyerere's mediation efforts in
the belief that his initiative has the potential to save many thousands
of lives at this critical juncture in Burundi's history.
Africa has been plagued by war and conflict over many decades. The Australian
Government fully supports efforts aimed at bringing greater peace and security
to the African region.
Sustainable development there will continue to be undermined by the debilitating
effects of war and conflict unless their root causes are tackled and overcome.
Each of the three initiatives to which I have pledged financial assistance
today are important contributions towards this objective.
For further information, contact Peter Collins on (06) 277 7500 and (0411)