Exercise Southern Accord 14 concluded with a closing ceremony capping a successful two weeks of learning and sharing that saw participants plan and execute peacekeeping operations in support of a complex, realistic scenario.
In recognition of the importance of regional relationships in creating a stable Africa, US Army Africa partnered with seven countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) excluding South Africa, the UK and Germany to ensure they have a common ability to conduct peacekeeping operations throughout southern Africa.
In comments during the ceremony, host and Commandant of the Malawi Armed Forces College, Major General RRK Chimowa, expressed his pleasure with the progress he witnessed during the exercise. “SADC has a responsibility to respond quickly when one of our African partners need help,” he said. “I’m encouraged to see so many different countries coming together in this common goal.”
With the reality of multiple deployments in support of UN peacekeeping operations across Africa and around the world, all those involved took the exercise seriously. The fictional scenario was based on real events and challenged participants to solve problems in a complex, multi-national peacekeeping operation featuring armed groups, host nation military elements, displaced civilians and humanitarian aid organisations.
“The co-operation and relationships formed in Malawi will continue and will safeguard peace in the region,” said US Ambassador to Malawi Jeanine Jackson. On hand to personally address those involved and recognise their efforts, she continued “let me again congratulate you on the successful exercise and thank every one of you for your personal commitment to peace and security on the African continent.”
Southern Accord 14 took place July 14-25 and included participants from the US, Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, UK and Germany. Southern Accord 15 is currently in planning to take place next year in Zambia.