AU gathers military chiefs in Addis for conflict-response exercise
Addis Ababa (Alshahid) –Approximately 200 Africa’s top military officers are in Addis Ababa for a joint military-civilian continental Command Post Exercise of the African Standby Force, which is also called AMANI AFRICA.
The exercise is organised under the auspices of Africa Standby Force programme. The Africa Standby Force is composed of five units under the auspices of regional blocs namely Western, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern.
It is a non-combat simulation exercise intended to improve the Africa Union’s capability to respond to conflicts and enhance its peacekeeping operations.
The programme is supported by the European Union and Canada.
“To this effect, the African Union and the European Union decided to partner on the AMANI AFRICA cycle, a continental review training cycle designed to accelerate and validate the state of operational readiness of the ASF,” note the AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping in his opening address to the Amani Africa Command Post Exercise.
The exercise, launched October 20, 2010, will take 10 days.
Military observers from Nato, the UN, the US and the EU will also participate in Amani Africa, but as observers.
Asked whether the exercise was in preparation for the launch of the AU stand-by force in Somalia, one of the organizers who sought anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press confirmed to Alshahid News that “Somalia crisis is live in all AU security programmes,”
The Commission chairman said; “The AMANI AFRICA Cycle will allow us both to assess and validate the progress which has been made to date, and to identify and address gaps and shortcomings which we must address as we move forward in the development of the African Standby Force.”