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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 490-97
September 17, 1997

DOD DEPLOYS FORCES TO BEGIN NEXT SERIES OF PEACEKEEPING TRAINING FOR AFRICAN MILITARIES

In continued support of the U.S. strategy to enhance the peacekeeping capacities of selected African militaries, the Secretary of Defense has directed the U.S. European Command to initiate the next series of training for those African nations which have committed units to the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) training program.

The African Crisis Response Initiative is a training initiative intended to work with African states to create highly effective, rapid-deployable peacekeeping units, which can operate jointly in the event of humanitarian crisis or a traditional peacekeeping operation. Approximately 60 soldiers from the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group headquartered at Ft. Bragg, N.C., along with other support troops, are scheduled to deploy on or about September 21, to begin training battalion-size units in Malawi. This is similar to the ACRI peacekeeping training that U.S. military personnel just concluded in Senegal and Uganda.

While the U.S. has agreed to provide peacekeeping training to several African partners in the context of ACRI, we are working closely with France and Great Britain to blend endeavors into a common peacekeeping initiative. We hope this effort will lead to opportunities for joint training and joint exercises. The joint initiative will be based upon the principles of long-term capacity enhancement, legitimacy, openness, and transparency. Britain, France, and the United States are committed to work closely with the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations as well as our many African partners. This partnership effort is compatible with the Call of the Eight at the Denver Summit for support for long-term efforts to promote African peacekeeping capacities.