Written by Lumbani Nyasulu
All is set for Malawi to host Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Stand by force Command Post Exercise called Umodzi at Malawi Armed Force College in Salima.
This comes as SADC is taking over the African Union (AU) standby force roster from ECOWAS beginning January to June 2019 and it is against this background that the formation of SADC standby force to maintain peace in the region is born.
This is international Continental African and Multidisciplinary peacekeeping force with Military ,Police and Civilian components that acts under direction of the African Union and which is to be deployed in times of crisis in Africa.
Making the announcement to the press on Wednesday in Lilongwe, Major General of Malawi Defense Force Alick Bentry Mhone who is also Exercise Director for SADC African Standby force Command Post Exercise said the objective of the training is to harmonise working procedures for SADC Standby force for member states interms of planning and conduct of integrated peace support missions.
” The Exercise is expected to begin from 1 to 15 October 2018 and will draw 600 participants from all SADC member states including Malawi,” Mhone said.
Major General Mhone added that the exercise is unique in that it comprises members from the civilian component.
Meanwhile, Director of Information and SADC Coordinator for Malawi, Gideon Munthali said Malawi as a country is honoured to host this important military exercise.
”We urge you media to publicize and alert people of Malawi because the exercise might involve military hardware and deployment of heavy military ,therefore people should not panic its just military exercise,” Munthali said.
The participants are expected to gain as much knowledge as possible by exchanging ideas and learning from other participants from other countries.
Internal Communication Relation Officer for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Jocelyne Lukundula said the SADC will inform all member states and the entire Africa concerning the exercise and how ready are SADC member states to intervene every where in SADC region.