‘SADC militaries must enhance co-operation’

Harare – Defence forces in SADC should scale-up collaboration to preserve peace and stability in the region.
Chief-of-Staff (Service Personnel and Logistics) in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Air Vice-Marshall Titus Abu-Basutu, said this while opening the SADC Inter-State Defence Security Committee (ISDSC) in Harare this past week.
This is the second high level security meeting hosted in Zimbabwe in a month following a conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa.
“As defence institutions, we should therefore work together for the preservation of peace, security and stability of the region. We should have the capability and capacity to deal with the defence challenges in the region.
“Thus, as a security preventive measure, the intervention by AU in trouble spots, supported by regional blocs such as SADC is of great importance,” he said.
AVM Abu-Basutu said the continuous development of human resources was of paramount importance to ensure adequate responses by the region and the AU.
He said SADC had made great strides towards regional security  through joint military exercises.
“The exercises are designed and aimed at preparing the SADC region in the event that there is a need to carry out UN and AU mandated missions…
“The establishment of an effective Reserve Force by SADC countries is essential. The Reserve Forces serve as back-up forces when the need arises. This meeting therefore should come up with sound recommendations over this matter,” he said.
Military officials also discussed ways in which security services could be more gender sensitive in outlook.
The outgoing chair of the ISDSC Working Group on Human Resources, Brigadier-General Karel Ndjoba from the Namibian Defence Forces, commended Zimbabwe’s role in promoting regional peace and security.
“They have shown true brotherly spirit as our counterparts,” he said.

May 2013
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