Senegal:AU moves forward to put African Standby Force in operation

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - Multinational, inter-regional, and multidimensional cooperation was one of the main reasons behind the success of just concluded Amani Africa II Field Training Exercise, held in South Africa, for military, police and civilian components from across the continent, according to African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson's Special Representative, Ambassador Augustine Philip Mahiga.

Mahiga made the remark when he visited Sector 3 area of operations under the exercise and stated that the sector was deliberately made complex as it comprised three Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanism, as well as speakers of English, Portuguese and French languages, under one central command.

In a statement made available to PANA in Dakar on Tuesday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and others have been commended for the high level of cooperation and synergy exhibited during the Amani Africa II Field Training Exercise.

In the same statement, ECOWAS said it cooperates with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Eastern African Regional Mechanism to promote peace in Africa.

Ambassador Mahiga emphasized that the challenge of ensuring the workability and viability of the African Standby Force (ASF) is for all of Africa and, therefore, Africans must be in the forefront of finding solutions to whatever problem that may affect the smooth running of the Force.

South African President Jacob Zuma officially closed Amani Africa II Field Training Exercise on Sunday at Lohatla, Northern Cape, South Africa, stating that it was "a historic exercise that is moving Africa forward in the pursuit of peace, stability and security."

"This exercise demonstrates that Africa is serious about peace and that the continent is also serious about investing in peace," said the president, underling that by its conclusion African nations have taken "a significant step forward towards bringing the African Standby Force and its Rapid Deployment Capability into operation."

"It is particularly gratifying that the five regions of our continent were represented at this exercise through the regional economic communities and their brigades.

"SADC (Southern African Development Community), the East Africa Standby Force, North Africa Regional Command, ECOWAS and the Volunteering nations of ACIRC (African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises) have all participated in this historic exercise, which is the first of its kind.

"Apart from testing harmonisation, this exercise has gone a long way towards strengthening cooperation between the African Union and the regional mechanisms for the purposes of future peacekeeping operations," President Zuma said.

Participating countries and the AU in general believe that the collective efforts of their military, police and civilian components will be invaluable in providing an effective and credible response to humanitarian crises on the continent.
-0- PANA MLJ/AR 10Nov2015

10 november 2015 14:24:03

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