South Africa will, at some time this year, host the Amani Africa ll field training exercise as part of making the AU African Standby Force (ASF) operational.
This emerged from a communique issued following the 10th meeting of the AU/UN Joint Task Force (JTF) on Peace and Security in Addis Ababa earlier this month.
“The JTF agreed to continue to co-operate in the area of peacekeeping based on the principles of shared responsibility, value addition and complementarity. In this regard, the meeting welcomed the ongoing UN review of peace operations and progress in the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC),” the communique stated.
The JTF welcomed the full operational capability reached by the East African Standby Force Co-ordinating Mechanism (EASFCOM) in November last year.
It also welcomed steps taken towards making the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) operational and what the JTF termed, “the ongoing process of harmonisation of both concepts”.
“All concerned are encouraged to take the necessary steps to ensure the full operational capability for the ASF is achieved by 2015,” the communique said, adding there was a need for sustained and focused international support for both forces.
“The JTF agreed to work towards the successful holding of the Amani Africa ll field training exercise in South Africa in the course of 2015 and other related activities as well as intensifying strategic and institutional engagement toward enhanced co-ordinated support.”
The Amani Africa ll field exercise was originally to have been hosted by Lesotho last year but was delayed following political upheavals. South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa heads a SADC team tasked with bringing political stability back to the landlocked kingdom. No alternative dates or venues have been given for the exercise by the AU Peace and Security Organ.