A currently underway Southern African Development Community (SADC) Standby Force logistics training exercise is preparation for events ranging from subversion and terrorism to “grand military manoeuvre on a large scale”.
This was the message this week from SADC Secretariat Chief of Staff, Brigadier Raymond Ndwandwe, to regional bloc logistics officers from eleven Southern African countries taking part in Exercise Nguizani in the Angolan capital, Luanda. He further informed participants the exercise was also an opportunity for SADC “allied forces” to train, exercise, and learn from one another. This would enable the regional bloc to effectively assume the continental rapid deployment capability (RDC) role for peace support operations as “envisioned by the declaration of the ninth AU (African Union) Special Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security in June 2016”.
Chemical warfare and the “intricacies of tribal rivalries” are also on the agenda of the exercise which started on Monday (25 September) and is set to end on 6 October.
Angolan General Inspector Gouveia João Sá Miranda in the Ministry of National Defence and Homeland Veterans, according to a SADC statement, told those delegated to Nguizani the world experienced complex political, economic and military events that negatively impacted on humanity over centuries. These “manifested” in “different dimensions and always led to crises” he said, naming food shortages, epidemic outbreaks, population displacement, environmental contamination, ecological threats and under-development as examples.
Nguizani’s focus is training at tactical level logistics support to intervention operations.
Logistics officers and support personnel from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are in Luanda for the exercise with support provided by SADC Secretariat staff.