Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – The African Standby Force (ASF), expected to help combat disasters and future political crises on the continent, has embarked on a military exercise aimed at gauging its preparedness ahead of future deployments, PANA reported Thursday.
The exercise kicked off here on 13 October and will climax with a military drill performance to be witnessed by African leaders 29 October.
Code-named Operation ‘Amani Africa,’ the exercise brings together over 200 civ ilian, police and military contingents from all the five regions.
They are the East African Standby Brigade, the West African Brigade (ECOWAS Stan dby Force), the North African Brigade, the Southern African Brigade and the Central African Brigade.
Documents obtained by PANA show the exercise would focus on the humanitarian pre paredness of an African army, arising from a situation where a seating President of an imaginary African nation is killed due to illegal activities by international crime gangs.
The European Union, which has been backing Africa’s efforts to be able to tackle internal conflicts and regional conflicts, said in a statement that operation Amani Africa has been ‘underlined as one of the highli ghts in the Year of Peace of the African Union’.
The continental force has been undergoing a two-year training cycle encompassing the various units from the Regional Economic Communities, which has reached its peak with the conduct of the Command Post Exercise, the EU said.
The training cycle has already achieved a number of successes, including beefing up of its personnel, additional equipment and a growing capacity to plan and conduct an exercise.
The exercise will further provide lessons and recommendations that will contribu te to the further development of AU capabilities.
African leaders would discuss the results of the military exercise during their November Summit in Libya, when they are scheduled to meet with the leaders of the EU.
Addis Ababa – Pana 14/10/2010
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