The Deputy Minister of Defence of the Republic of Malawi and guest of Honour, Hon. Everton Chimulirenji officially opened the SADC Command Post Exercise (CPX), Exercise UMODZI at a ceremony held at Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO), Salima Malawi, on 8 October 2018.
The ceremony started with the parade of all the exercise participants (Military, Police and Civilians). The parade incorporated all troops and personnel from the SADC Member States as a sign of their commitment to peace and security in the region.
Delivering his opening remarks, Hon Chimulirenji stated how delighted and honoured Malawi was to be given the opportunity to host Exercise UMODZI and welcomed all the participants coming from the 12 SADC Member States (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kingdom of Eswatini and Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, United Republic of Tanzania, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). Opening Remarks
The SADC Secretariat was represented by the Chief of Staff of the SADC Standby Force Planning Element (SADC SF PLANELM) and CPX Exercise Coordinator, Brig. Gen. Michael Mukokomani.
Delivering his remarks, on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence-Tax, Remarks by CoS, Brig. Gen. Mukokomani thanked the Government and people of Malawi for hosting the exercise and acknowledged the positive response of the Member States in their participation across the different components being the Military, Police and Civilian components. In this regard, the Chief of Staff observed that the level of participation was in fact, “ indicative of the commitment member states ascribe to conflict resolution initiatives and the strong desire to see the successful attainment of the envisioned Exercise UMODZI objectives.
The exercise is being conducted under the theme “Africa for Peace and Prosperity”. Its overall objective is to practice and exercise SADC Standby Force’s Multidimensional Headquarters on the planning and conduct of Peace Support Operations in preparation for assuming the African Standby Force Roster from January to June 2019. The roster duties are undertaken within the framework of the African Standby Force (ASF) under the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
The Exercise Director, Maj. Gen, Mhone explained that, the exercise started with the conduct of the Communication and Map Exercise on the 4th Oct 2018, and will then proceed with the actual Command Post Exercise which is scheduled to commence on 10 October 2018. The exercise is an assimilation of an African Union Peace Mission called African Union Mission in Kunta (AMIK). The exercise scenario conduct will start with the execution of a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) under Scenario 6 which is a Peace enforcement mission and then transit to Scenario 5 which is a muldimensional Peace Support Operation in Kunta.Remarks
As stipulated by Defence Force Commander, General Griffin Spoon Phiri in his remarks, Exercise UMODZI aims to create a robust and credible SADC Standby Force that can stand the test of time, available and ready to respond to any compelling situation anywhere in Africa.Remarks by Malawi Force Commander
The conduct of Exercise Umodzi began on 17th September 2018 at the SADC Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana. On that day, SADC Executive Secretary issued the Mission Mandate and Directives to Mrs Eunice Luambia, the Head of Mission for this exercise. This is in accordance with Article 11 of the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, relating to “Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution”.
The ceremony was attended by about 600 participants. The opening ceremony was also attended by Defence Attaches’ accredited to Malawi, Malawi Defence Force senior staff, International Partners and SADC Secretariat staff including the staff from the Regional Peacekeeping Training Center (RPTC) who are there to evaluate the exercise.
One of the Training rooms