AU defence meeting underway in Vic Falls


Victoria FALLS — African defence, safety and security experts are holding a two-day meeting in Zimbabwe to review progress achieved in the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC).


The meeting is also expected to consider progress made on the harmonisation and integration of the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) into the ASF’s Rapid Deployment Capability as well as on going African-led peace operations.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, Zimbabwe National Army Major-General Sibusisiwe Moyo called for strengthening of security co-operation among member states and the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs) so that the continent can respond quickly and effectively to crises.

“Better co-ordination will help speed up the delivery of assistance during crises,” Moyo said.

“The full operationalisation of robust capabilities of the ASF and the ACIRC is critical to defending the values of the African Union and fulfilling the aspirations of Africans for sustainable peace.”

The meeting is also expected to discuss the status of operationalisation of the regional standby forces.

Speaking at the same event, Admore Kambudzi, secretary to the African Union, Peace and Security Council, said: “As we approach the deadline for the operationalisation of the ASF and its Rapid Deployment Capability, this critical meeting serves to analyse the challenges at hand and consider the recommendations made by the AU Commission on the way forward.”

Head of the AU Peace Support Operations Division, Sivuyile Bam, said the integration of all the security instruments of the AU were key to ensuring an agile and responsive ASF.

Recommendations from the meeting will inform deliberations of the eleventh meeting of the African Chiefs of Defence Staff and Heads of Safety and Security Services and the eighth meeting of the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security which is expected to run from May 13 to 16 in the tourist resort town.