AFRICA: MILITARY/SARDC/5/20/28 SABANews 1
BLANTYRE – With the global security situation ever declining, the AFRICAN UNION looks set to ensure its borders become more secure – while maintaining stability within member countries.
AFRICA now has in place a formidable tool to deal with conflicts within the 54 member nations and globally, with each of its FIVE regional groupings take turns to head the AFRICA Standby Force, ASF.
The ASF came into being under the AU protocol on the creation of the Peace and Security Council of the continent, which the leaders signed in JULY 2002 before it entered into force in DECEMBER 2003.
In recognition of the roles of regional communities in promoting peace and security, the final concept for the grouping provides for the FIVE regional standby brigades.
The command of the ASF rotates among the North AFRICA Regional Standby Brigade, NASBRIG; the East AFRICA Standby Brigade, EASBRIG; the Force Multinationale de L’AFRIQUE Centrale, FOMAC; the SADC Standby Brigade, SADCBRIG; and the ECOWAS Standby Brigade, ECOBRIG.
The AU Peace and Security Council document defines SIX ASF deployment scenarios, while the AFRICAN leaders have agreed on force levels of about 15-THOUSAND soldiers for the whole continent.
The SOUTHERN AFRICAN RESEARCH AND DOCMENTATION CENTRE, SARDC, says the SADC Region has started trainings in MALAWI for its own Standby Brigade to take over the command of the ASF after ECOWAS.
It says the Exercise UMODZI, MALAWIAN chi-CHEWA for solidarity, partnership, and oneness, aims to prepare military, police and civilian personnel for the task ahead – as from JANUARY next year.
The ASF is a global, continental, and multidisciplinary peacekeeping force with military, police as well as civilian contingents under the direction of the AU, to be deployed in times of crisis in AFRICA.
It has its Force Headquarters in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, with DOUALA, CAMEROON, serving as the site of the AU Continental Logistics Base.
The arrangement aims to ensure the military, police, and civilian contingents deployed respond swiftly to a crisis without any disturbances from heavy political and instrumental burdens.
The ASF became fully operational in 2016 and is based on standby arrangements among the FIVE sub-regions: North AFRICA, East AFRICA, Central AFRICA, West AFRICA and Southern AFRICA, each of which leads the force every SIX months./Sabanews/cam