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ECOWAS, other regions cooperate to promote peace in Africa

Military contingent filed out for parade at the Amani Africa II DV Day edited

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Eastern African Regional Mechanism, have been commended for the high level of cooperation and synergy exhibited during the Amani Africa II Field Training Exercise.

In his visit to Sector 3 area of operations on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission (SRCC), to the special exercise mission tagged, African Union Mission in Carana (AMICA), Ambassador Augustine Philip Mahiga, expressed delight over the level of seriousness and commitment exhibited by the military, police and civilian components of the Sector.

He described the high level of cooperation among the troops and the various components, as exemplary and in fulfilment of the vision of the founding fathers and mothers of Africa.

This type of multinational, inter-regional, and multidimensional cooperation, according to him, is one of the main reasons behind the success of the exercise.The Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) of Nigeria, Angola and Kenya, through the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), Central African Standby Force (CASF) and the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), were grouped together under Sector Three at Tactical level of the exercise, in order to validate the workings of different troops of the African Standby Force (ASF), coming under one central command, during peace support operations.

Ambassador Mahiga emphasized that the challenge of ensuring the workability and viability of the ASF is for all of Africa, therefore, Africans must be in the forefront of finding solutions to whatever problem that may affect the smooth running of the Force. He recalled when the idea to form an African standby force was mooted, some people doubted if Africa could do it, today Africa is not only doing it but perfecting it to respond to any crisis that may arise within the continent.

He paid special tribute to the nations of Angola, Kenya and Nigeria for bringing troops and equipment to the exercise as well as their various financial contributions towards the success of Amani Africa II exercise in particular and the African Standby Force in general. He was particularly delighted with the leadership and maturity exhibited by Angola and Nigeria in airlifting troops to the exercise. The provision of airlift by these African countries, he said, had proved that the ASF was indeed capable of rapid deployment in times of need.

Ambassador Mahiga further remarked that, Sector Three of the Amani Africa II exercise, was deliberately made complex, comprising three Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanism, as well as speakers of English, Portuguese and French languages, under one central command. It was also specifically located in a very difficult terrain, in order to test the tactical capability of the components, when faced with real life situation. He added that, the success of the Sector components during the exercise, was a clear evidence that the ASF will also succeed when faced with a real life situation, during any peace support operations.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Head of Sector 3, Mrs. Maimouna Konate, one of representative from the ECOWAS Commission, expressed her gratitude for the privilege to serve Africa in this very important assignment.

Mrs Konate said, despite some challenges, the Sector was able to simulate and respond to various exercise roles as stipulated in the exercise programme. She mentioned that the three components worked together to resolve issues related to security, humanitarian and civilian protection. She then appreciated the efforts of the SRCC and assured him of the continuous commitment of participants to achieving the overall objectives of the exercise.

The Amani Africa II Field Training Exercise was carried out to validate the capacity of the African Union to , deploy, and employ a rapid deployment capability of the ASF, as a startup operation and to run a full multidimensional peace support operations. One of the major objectives of the exercise is to enhance the police and civilian capacities of the ASF, in planning and conducting peace support operations, as mandated by the African Union.

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