September 27, 2023

The operationalisation of the SADC Standby Force as mechanism for intervention in crises situations remain a cornerstone for regional peace

The systematic organisation of exercises within the region is an established practice, with positive signs in conflict situations which, can be avoided and overcome if the collective will of the Member States prevails. 

General Inspector Gouveia João Sá Miranda in the Ministry of National Defence, and Homeland Veterans said this during the official opening of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Standby Force Logistics Training Exercise, (LOGEX) coded “EXERCISE NGUIZANI”, in Luanda, Republic of Angola on the 25th September 2023. 

He underlined that over the centuries, the world has experienced complex political, economic, and military events that have had a negative impact on humanity. He said, such events manifest themselves in different dimensions and always lead to crises, such as food shortages, epidemics outbreaks, population displacement, environmental contamination, ecological threats, and underdevelopment, amongst others. General Inspector Sá Miranda outlined that the operationalisation of the SADC Standby Force, as a mechanism for intervention in crises situations, remain a permanent concern for the SADC Region.

For his part, Brigadier Raymond Ndwandwe, Chief of Staff at SADC Secretariat outlined that the rationale for planning and executing military exercises is to prepare commanders and forces for operations in peace support activities, crises, and conflicts. He highlighted that exercise such as LOGEX ensure that forces across the Alliance can work together effectively whenever needed. 

Through exercises like this, SADC Allied forces often come together to train, exercise, and learn from one another to enable it to effectively assume the continental Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) role for peace support operations as envisioned by the declaration of the 9th AU Special Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security on 4th June 2016, he said.

Brigadier Ndwandwe underscored that exercises such as LOGEX prepare SADC Standby Force, to handle events which range from the effects of subversion and terrorism to grand military manoeuvre on a large scale, from the conditions of chemical warfare to the intricacies of tribal rivalries. Therefore, the exercise will focus on training the participants at Tactical level logistics support to Intervention Operations, he said. 

The exercise is attended by participants from 11 SADC Member States, namely; Republic of Angola, Republic of Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Lesotho, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Namibia, Republic of South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Zambia and Republic of Zimbabwe. The SADC Secretariat staff is on the ground to service the exercise.