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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Dakar, Senegal)
For Immediate Release                                      April 1, 1998



Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher launched the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) in October 1996. The purpose of the Initiative is to work with international partners and African nations to enhance African peacekeeping and humanitarian relief capacity. Through the ACRI program, the United States offers training and equipment to African nations who seek to enhance their peacekeeping capabilities and are committed to democratic progress, principles, and civilian rule.

The United States completed initial training with battalions from Senegal, Uganda, and Malawi in 1997, and began training Mali in February 1998. ACRI training will begin in April 1998 in Ghana in cooperation with the Belgian and Ghanian trainers. The United States will begin training later this year in Ethiopia, which has chosen to commit two battalions and a brigade staff to this effort. The normal training period is 70 days and approximately 70 U.S. trainers generally provide instruction.

Non-governmental and private organizations are invited to participate in the training, affording trainers and trainees alike valuable opportunities for increased interaction and understanding of the role of civilian agencies in peacekeeping and complex humanitarian operations. After the initial training, U.S. military training teams return every six months for short duration to assist in developing self-sustaining training capability.

The U.S. ACRI program also complements African capacity training efforts of several other countries such as Britain, France and the Nordic countries. The U.S. also consults closely on ACRI activity with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and its Crisis Management Center, and African sub-regional organizations already pursuing capacity enhancement.

ACRI is a five year program with $15 million allocated for the first year, $20 million for the second year, and another $20 million requested for the third year.

During his visit to Senegal President Clinton will review Senegalese troops who have participated in ACRI training and peacekeeping activities.

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