SADC begins training of Stand by Force in Zim

2013-02-05 10:07


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Cape Town – SADC military inspectors have converged in the Zimbabwe capital for a training course aimed at improving the operation and proficiency of the military component of the SADC Standby Force (SSF) in war times, according to a report.  

In 2007, regional countries resolved to contribute troops under the SSF to defend members states from revolts and aggression.

The brigade, under the command of Tanzania, is in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where M23 rebels had launched an onslaught against President Joseph Kabila's government.

Zimbabwe's Herald online reported on Tuesday that inspectors drawn from all SADC countries would inspect different countries' preparedness for any eventuality.

Those participating will in turn train their colleagues in their respective countries.

Their duty will be to inspect physical military equipment of all countries that pledged to contribute to the brigade.

Sadc Defence Inspectorate Working Group chairperson Colonel Joseph Mathambo of Botswana said the inspectors would physically examine military hardware and personnel to be deployed at the shortest possible time when needed.

Common understanding

"We have instances where pledging countries were found lacking when it was time for deployment and this inconvenienced the whole brigade so we decided that we inspect and see the actual troops and equipment on the ground.

"They will also train the civilian component of the brigade who comprise the police, non-governmental organisations who will be providing critical services to the brigade such as humanitarian assistance, dealing with children and other vulnerable groups.”

Officially opening the course, acting Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Lieutenant General Valerio Sibanda said there was a need for SADC member states to speak with one voice.

He said SADC members states should be prepared for any eventuality.

"For this to be effective, we have to be united and speak with one voice," he said.

"In your various countries you have your own inspectorate format but with this working group it was found necessary that you should adopt the same format regionally. The course is designed to ensure that we have a common understanding of the inspectorate procedure so that you can train others in your respective countries. If we are to harmonise our operations we have to harmonise our training first."

The training is set to end on 15 February.

Read more on:    sadc  |  m23  |  joseph kabila  |  zimbabwe  |  drc  |  botswana  |  tanzania  |  southern africa

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