Minister Cowen announces financial support for peace process
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., announced at a meeting with the UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, in Brussels today, that Ireland has decided to make a contribution of €500,000 to the African Union-led African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) peace-keeping force.
The contribution by Ireland is being made in response to an appeal made by Secretary General Annan to UN members for contributions to guarantee the future of the 3,000-strong force which comprises peace-keeping troops from South Africa, Mozambique and Ethiopia.
Announcing the contribution, Minister Cowen stated that it is a clear demonstration of Ireland's commitment, nationally and as EU Presidency, to advancing the peace process in Burundi.
"I am very pleased to be able to respond to the Secretary General's request for additional financing for this hugely important peace-keeping mission. AMIB is playing a key role in implementing the peace agreements in Burundi.
More generally, this commitment is a practical expression of how enhancing the EU's involvement in preventing and resolving conflicts in Africa, particularly through support for African-led initiatives, is a particular focus of Ireland's EU Presidency”, Minister Cowen said.
The Minister added; "By supporting AMIB in this way, I hope that we can assist in the conclusion of a comprehensive and lasting peace in Burundi. Such an outcome would represent the most fitting tribute which could be made to the memory of the late Papal Nuncio to Burundi, Archbishop Michael Courtney, who worked so tirelessly to further the cause of peace and reconciliation among all Burundians."