African emergency military force conducts training in South Africa
Nov 05, 2015 The African Standby Force, a coalition army designed to prevent continental genocide, recently held training exercises in South Africa. Backed by armored vehicles and mortars, thousands of African soldiers took part in the exercise in the arid heart of South Africa’s Karoo region.
The troops engaged in simulations which saw the soldiers firing mortars and patrolling their territory.
According to reports, the three-week training is the last major exercise before the African Standby Force, the continent’s first home-grown strike force, officially begins operation.
Earlier this year, South African Defense Force minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the training exercise was an important milestone. However, analysts have pointed out the challenge of funding and forging the political agreement among 54 countries to send in troops.
Commenting on the coalition force, Major General Trust Lugoba said:
“What remains critical is to sort out the funding, the fighting capability and the training capabilities. We’ve got regional training centers in SADC (Southern Africa Development Community), in East Africa, Kofi Annan in West Africa and elsewhere that are enhancing African peacekeeping training capability. So for me, I think the willingness is there, the motivation is there. I think logistics at times that becomes a challenge rather than the vision to achieve the objective,”
Also speaking on the exercise, Maria Nhamtubo, a Mozambican soldier said:
“It has been a huge pleasure for me to be participating in this exercise because it is the first time we, females from SADC, are participating in such event and I am proud to be here,”
Uganda warrant officer, Charles Okello, expressed hope that the coalition force will promote peace and brotherhood across Africa.
“When they told us that Uganda is part of this AMANI exercise we were very happy because we always want to unite our forces to be together and then we have peace and we remain brotherhood in Africa,”
The enthusiasm notwithstanding, Gustavo de Carvalho, a senior researcher at the Institute of Security Studies said:
“We see on the one hand the willingness of African countries to deploy more to support crisis’ in the continent but on the other hand, we have seen also a lack of capacity of funding it’s own missions. So what we have seen, there is a strong reliance from African Union in terms of external donors and external partners. So the European Union has been very supportive and the United States and some other countries have provided consistent support and also the United Nations, especially when we’re talking about logistical support,”