Editor's note: The following article, by the U.S. Department of State, is provided to further public understanding of U.S. foreign policy toward African security. U.S. Africa Command is not directly involved in the programs or funding being discussed. The United States will provide $5 million to support formation of a joint security force in Somalia, a State Department spokesman said. The announcement, issued in a December 29 press statement by acting deputy spokesman Gordon Duguid, came on the same day Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf announced his resignation. The United States supports and respects Yusuff's decision to resign after four years as president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Duguid said. He said the United States acknowledges "President Yusuf's contributions to long-term peace and stability in Somalia." Duguid said the United States welcomes Yusuf's commitment to continue supporting the Djibouti peace process. Members of the TFG and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), an opposition party, met in Djibouti in June 2008 and agreed to take concrete steps toward reducing hostilities, including establishing a joint security force. Parties to the Djibouti agreement called for establishing a joint committee on security arrangements and a high-level committee on political issues related to justice and reconciliation. It also called for more efforts to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations in Somalia. The United States has called on all Somali involved entities, whether party to the agreement or not, to abide by its provisions and support its implementation. "We urge Parliamentary Speaker Madoobe, Prime Minister Nur Adde and the leaders of the [ARS] to intensify efforts to achieve a government of national unity and to enhance security through formation of a joint security force," Duguid said. Duguid said the United States expects the Somali parliament to "act expeditiously" and select a new president within 30 days, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Transitional Federal Charter. The charter is a United Nations-backed framework for restoring peace and good governance to Somalia. Duguid also said the United States supports strengthening the African Union Mission in Somalia and would like to see a "rapid authorization and deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force."