AU Standby Force will be active by December, says Commander

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Abuja – The African Union Standby Force established to help contain emerging threats to security and peace on the African continent, will be fully active by December, an official has said.

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Col. Joseph Amadasun, the Commander of Nigeria’s contingent to the standby force’s field training exercise in South Africa, told the News Agency of News (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that Nigeria had been deployed to sector 3 of the force alongside Angola, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

According to him, the training for members is crucial to its take-off of the force.

• Cue in audio 1 (Amadasun)

“It was a field training that has to do with the operationalisation of the Africa Union Standby force by December 2015 and the field training was basically divided into two phases.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

“The first one has to do with the rapid deployment capability of the various regional standby forces in Africa and the second has to do with the multinational dimension of the operation.

“Nigeria is in sector three, which consists of officers from includes Angola, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

“For now Africa is trying to get it right; I am quite convinced that with this type of field training, Africa will be able to achieve the purpose for which the standby force was established in various regions of Africa.’’

• Cue out audio 1

In his contribution, Navy Commodore Uche Onyia, the Deputy Director of Operations, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, explained that the creation of the standby force was to augment existing regional forces.

He further said that the standby force would help African countries in tackling both internal and external threats to security arising within their domains.

• Cue in audio 2 (Onyia)

“This is an effort by African countries to come together to see how this problem of insecurity in the region could be tackled as a response force that could react to problems of insecurity in any part of Africa.

“The training is going to be a continuous effort.

“Actually, this particular exercise is an effort to operationalise the standby force and this standby force is going to be a standing force for the African Union and not for Nigeria alone.

“This is a standing force; it does not collapse any other force that is existing because the stability and security in the African continent there are regional forces that make their own contributions.’’

• Cue out audio 2

He said that Nigeria and other African countries would make equal contributions to the growth and strength of the standby force (NAN)

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