Ethiopia: AU Special Summit declares rapid military force ready to deploy

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has declared its temporary multinational intervention force, the Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), mooted as a response to the French military intervention in Mali, ready for deployment in current trouble spots across Africa.

A Special Summit of the AU, which ended in the Ethiopian capital on Wednesday, declared the readiness of the multinational military intervention force to move into action pending the completion of the African Standby Force field exercise, which is still yet to be evaluated, the AU Commission said.

“We, the Heads of State and Government of the African Capacity for Immediate Response (ACIRC), declare that ACIRC capability is ready to respond swiftly to crises and contribute to Peace Support Operations (PSO) mandated by the Peace and Security Council (PSC),” the AUC said.

The Capacity for Rapid Deployment was first proposed as a response to a French intervention in Mali and was immediately backed by six AU member states. Under the terms agreed upon earlier, African countries could deploy troops to a trouble spot immediately pending an AU approval.

The leaders said at their extraordinary summit that they approved the readiness to deploy the immediate intervention force pursuant to Article 4 (h) and (j) of the AU’s Constitutive Act.  

During the Summit, the Heads of State also decided that the deployment of ACIRC should be the responsibility of the African Union’s PSC in consultation with ACIRC Volunteering Nations.

The five battalion force with combat units is to be allowed to intervene for at least 90 days during which the AU or the UN would mobilise for a formal peacekeeping operation.

Algeria, Angola, Chad, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania agreed to volunteer troops to the five battalions forming the immediate intervention force. Other states, including Rwanda, Egypt and Burkina Faso have also joined the initiative.

The Summit took note of the AUC report on the status of ACIRC and commended the Commission and ACIRC Volunteering Nations for the progress made.

They endorsed the ACIRC Framework Nation (FN) Roster 2016/2017, Training Cycle 2016/2017 and decision of ACIRC 1st Extra Ordinary Ministerial meeting held in Addis Ababa on 29 January 2016.

The Heads of State also directed that the next meetings at the level of ACIRC Chief of Defence Staffs (CDS) and Ministers be held in Angola.

The Summit also directed the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, to continue to appraise and review all conflict areas in Africa and propose ways in which ACIRC Volunteering Nations would contribute to contain the situation.
-0- PANA AO/MA 10Nov2016

10 november 2016 13:26:28

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