She expressed deep concern over the senseless conflicts that engender one of the worst humanitarian crises globally, emphasizing the disruptive consequences on individuals and entire communities.
The Ambassador highlighted that such coups often lead to severe humanitarian crises, particularly in the Sahel region, where numerous military coups have deprived citizens of their right to shape their own futures.
Speaking in Accra ahead of the 75th UN Peacekeeping Ministerial at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Center, she reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the Biden-Harris administration to peace and security in Africa.
This commitment entails a focus on enhancing the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping, substantial investment in African peace and security, and active diplomatic engagement.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield underscored the gravity of these challenges, emphasizing that they pose not only threats to peace and security in Africa but also on a global scale. Recognizing that these issues extend beyond the African continent, she stressed the crucial role of African leadership in addressing them.
Pointing to Ghana as an exemplar of positive leadership, being a net exporter of peace, the Ambassador commended Ghana’s leaders for their active contributions to stabilizing the region. Ghana has deployed troops for UN peacekeeping missions and advocated for peaceful transitions of power, a free press, and resilient democratic processes.
However, she also drew attention to instances where leaders in other countries have chosen isolation, distancing themselves from international institutions. Instead, some have aligned with entities like the Wagner Group, perpetuating conflict for profit. The Ambassador cited Mali as a poignant example, where engaging with the Wagner Group disrupted a fragile peace agreement, leading to increased instability in West Africa.
She called on African leaders to contribute their ideas, optimism, and impatience to envision a better future, assuring that the United States stands ready to support their vision. The Ambassador outlined the responsibility of the international community to enhance the efficiency of UN peacekeeping, empower African Union missions, and invest in resilient governance to prevent and withstand security risks.
Highlighting U.S. commitments, she mentioned a substantial $6.5 billion investment since the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration to support security, democracy, human rights, and governance in Africa. The United States supports reforms that would enable the UN to provide funding and logistics support to the AU in the fight against violent extremism.