Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Botswana to host SADC standby force facility

Botswana will host the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Standby Force (SF) Regional Logistics Depot (RLD).

Recently SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax visited the SADC SF RLD site to appreciate the location in Rasesa village in Kgatleng District.

According a SADC statement, the Executive Secretary updated the Chief of Arbitration,  Olefile Mosekiemang on behalf of Rasesa village Chief Rasesa Letshwenyo Rasesa to discuss on the developments surrounding the establishment of the SADC Regional logistics depot, the most important one being the approval of the Environmental Management Plan.

The purpose of the EMP, the release says is to ensure that in the course of the construction of the RLD all possible measures would be taken to safeguard the environment and to ensure effective management of the project.

Mosekiemang reportedly expressed his gratitude for the visit and reiterated the commitment and support of the village leadership towards the realisation of the project.

The release further states that as the SADC SF is one of the building blocks of the African Standby Force (ASF) of the African Union, whose purpose is to provide the African Union with capabilities to respond to conflicts through the deployment of peacekeeping forces and to undertake interventions pursuant to Article 4(h) and (i) of the Constitutive Act.

The SADCSF was officially launched at the 27th Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of States and Government in Lusaka, Zambia on the17th August 2007 in accordance with African Standby Force Roadmap.

The decision to establish the SADC Regional Logistics Depot (RLD) in Botswana was made by the SADC Defence Chiefs in 2006. Following that decision, the Government of the Republic of Botswana allocated to SADC 19 hectares of land to cater for the establishment of the SADCSF RLD in Rasesa within the Kgatleng Tribal Area.

The RLD is expected to hold general purpose equipment for the police, military and civilian components of the SADC Standby Force and the construction of the RLD is projected to begin in 2017.

Article 3 of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the SADC Heads of States and Government in Lusaka, Zambia in 2007 to established the SADC Standby Force provides for a standby force that consists of military, police and civilian components. The MoU defines the civilian component as “all civilian personnel including the Special Representative of the Mandating Authority and a range of substantive civilian experts in a mission area.” 

Recently a workshop was held in Gaborone to raise awareness among Member States and non-state actors on the activities of the Civilian Component of the SADC Standby Force in order to ensure that they are fully involved in the activities aimed at strengthening and fully operationalising the component. Participants had an insight of the role of civilians in Peace Support Operations; and the opportunity to appreciate the achievements and challenges of the SADC SF Civilian Component.

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