By STEVEN ZANDE –
DEFENCE Minister Davis Chama has said joint military training exercises for personnel in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are important in preparing regional forces for multinational peace support operations.
Mr Chama said such operations should be encouraged because they facilitated for exchange of ideas between SADC command and staff training colleges while helping forge professional links between SADC military personnel.
“The SADC initiative, therefore, falls in line with the African Union (AU) aspirations for the African standby force in line with the peace support operations doctrine and highlights its strategic context, concepts and direction,” the minister said.
He said this yesterday in a speech read for him by his Permanent Secretary Sturdy Mwale at the official launch of the 2017 Combined Joint African Exercise at the Defence Services and Staff Training College.
Mr Chama said the exercise would have a positive effect on operational capability of the African Standby Force and SADC Brigade.
He said the Government was keen to support joint initiatives by the SADC defence forces.
Mr Chama expressed confidence that the joint exercise would be a valuable contribution to the overall AU capacity for conflict resolution.
He said the exercise captioned the AU Heads of State Assembly’s desire to see operationalisation of the concept of shared responsibility between the United Nations and regional bodies for effective global and regional conflict management.
Mr Chama said the exercise would impart on participants a thorough understanding of the challenges involved in planning and coordinating complex multinational peace support operations.
College Commandant Dennis Alimbuzwi said the exercise would enhance capabilities of involved officers and improve understanding of their role and that of civilians in peace efforts.
Brigadier-General Alimbuzwi said when exposed to training, military personnel would deepen their understanding, a situation which would impact positively on their performance in conflict resolution efforts.
The five-day programme had participation and observation of student officers from Botswana, South Africa and Malawi.