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ASEAN looks to African Union peacekeeper model


Defence ministers from Southeast Asia posing for a photo during the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting in Langkawi, Malaysia on March 16, 2015. Photo: MINDEF

Defence ministers from Southeast Asia posing for a photo during the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting in Langkawi, Malaysia on March 16, 2015. Photo: MINDEF

Defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will study the African Union’s model in their quest to set up an integrated peacekeeping force of the 10-member regional grouping, reports Kyodo News on March 16.

"African Union peacekeeping forces go under the UN flag, so why not ASEAN? We just have to check how they do it," Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters after chairing a one-day meeting of ASEAN defense ministers at the resort island of Langkawi off the northern Kedah state in Malaysia on March 16.

Malaysia, which took over the rotating ASEAN chair this year from Myanmar, revived the idea of an ASEAN peacekeeping force that was first mooted over a decade ago among ASEAN member countries.

Defense ministers from all the ASEAN countries including Myanmar attended the meeting.

The concept of such a force failed to take off in the past as some member countries feared it would clash with ASEAN's longstanding principle of non-interference in each other's domestic affairs.

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