SANDF ready to help in Africa – Zuma

2015-02-21 14:24

A SA National Defence Force (SANDF) battalion is being prepared to be deployed by the African Union if required, says President Jacob Zuma.

“Recently the SANDF became part of the newly established African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (Acirc), which is an interim mechanism to assist in peace and security in the continent until such time that the African standby force is ready,” he said today.

“The standby force is a very important initiative by the continent because it enables us to provide African solutions to African problems.”

Zuma was speaking at the Armed Forces Day in Potchefstroom, North West.

Last year, while attending the US-Africa Summit, the United States pledged support for African peacekeeping and peace-making mechanisms.

Following the summit, Zuma said Africa had secure buy-in from the US for peace and security initiatives on the continent, including support for the African Standby Force.

In August, City Press reported that the SANDF would be sending soldiers back to the Central African Republic as early as October as part of Acirc.

Other African countries had also signed up to put their armies on standby, in case of a crisis.

According to the report at the time, they would be getting help from the controversial US Africa Command (Africom) with equipment and possibly transport, as most of the African continent’s armies were short of funds. This was set to be finalised at the summit.

However, not all African countries are happy with Africom’s involvement.

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