As part of continued efforts to prepare the SADC Standby Force (SSF) to assume the African Standby Force (ASF) Roster duties for Peace Support Operations (PSO), the SADC Secretariat undertook a Pre-Deployment verification of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) pledged capabilities for peace support operations (PSO) on the 4th February 2019 on invitation of the BDF.
The SSF assumed the African Union ASF Roster duties on 1st January 2019 which will be for a six months rotational basis with others Regional Economic communities (RECs). The ASF roster was put in place in January 2017 following a decision of the 9th Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security (STCDSS) of the AU which was later endorsed by the SADC Summit, who approved the Regional Rotational Standby Capabilities Roster during its meeting of 15 to 17 August 2017.
The assumption of the ASF Standby Roster, entails that the SADC SF will have the primary responsibility of being the first responder to conflicts situations in the Continent to provide a rapid deployment capability (RDC). In this regard, the SADC Standby Force will for the period, be the AU torchbearer for implementing peacekeeping and peace-building efforts, including post-conflict disarmament and demobilization.
During the Pre Deployment Verification, the BDF pledged Capabilities were fully confirmed for their availability and operational readiness to assume the peace support duties. The personnel also showed a high level of readiness and motivation as they prepare to partake in any mission.
The SADC team that was led by the Chief of Staff of the PLANELM, Brigadier Michael Mukokomani was received by the Commander of the Ground Forces Command of the BDF, Major General Molefhi Seikano who expressed gratitude for the visit and informed on other activities that the BDF was undertaking as part of force preparedness including pre-deployment training.