AU peacekeepers on their way to SA

2015-10-08 12:45
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Cape Town – The African Union will conduct a field training exercise in the Northern Cape later this month to test the state of readiness of the continental peacekeeping force.

The African Standby Force’s rapid deployment capability would also be evaluated, said Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi, chief of joint operations for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), in a statement.

The special military force was created in order to be deployed in times of crisis in Africa.

The exercise, dubbed AMANI AFRICA II (Swahili for Peace in Africa), aims to assess the force's readiness before it becomes fully operational in December.

It was initially set to take place in Lesotho at the end of last year but this was not feasible because of the nation’s political and security situation.

South Africa was then chosen as the host nation. The exercise will take place at the army combat training centre.

Around 5 400 military, police and civilian members from various African countries will start to arrive in the country next week, ahead of various fictional scenarios that will be played out at the centre.

The major troop contributing countries are Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The SANDF's military police, supported by the SA Police Service and traffic police, will escort convoys of personnel, vehicles and equipment travelling through the country.

The affected ports of entry, and routes from these ports, are Upington airport and border posts with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.

"The SANDF would like to warn members of the public about this exercise and the implications it may have on their normal or routine activities, and at the same time appeal to the public to be supportive of this noble exercise and its aims in pursuit of peace and stability in our continent," Mgwebi said.

The visiting troops are due leave the country between November 7 and 15.

Read more on:    au  |  sandf  |  kimberley  |  military

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