n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - The SADC Standby Force - : Southern Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 05
  • ISSN :


In February 2013, a training course designed to improve the operational efficiency of the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) Standby Force (SF), took place in Harare, Zimbabwe. According to Zimbabwe's Herald newspaper, inspectors from all SADC member states were sent to Harare in order to assess the readiness of different SADC countries to meet "any eventuality" with which the SF may be faced. A statement issued during the training course, which ran from 11-15 February, indicated that participants would subsequently assess the standard of military equipment and personnel in their own countries with regard to making improvements that would allow the SF to deploy as rapidly as possible when necessary. According to Botswana's Colonel Joseph Mathambo, Chair of the SADC Defence Inspectorate Working Group, it is vital that improvements are made to the personnel and equipment pledged by individual SADC members. This is because the contributions of a number of member states have been "found lacking" during the deployment of SADC military assets. It was this concern that led the SADC to hold its exercise in Harare in February 2013. The exercise was designed to provide senior officers with the opportunity to inspect the military equipment and personnel fielded by the SADC's member states. The objective of the exercise indicates that there is a recognised need to harmonise and, in many cases, raise the standard of military personnel and equipment pledged by individual member states for inclusion in the SADC's SF.

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