The SADC Brigade supports regional peace operations under the African Standby Force Policy Framework. The Brigade, launched in August 2008, is made up of military, police and civilian members from SADC Member States.
The Function of the Brigade is to participate in missions as envisaged in Article 13 of the "mandate" of the Peace and Security Protocol relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which includes:
- Observation and monitoring missions;
- Peace support missions;
- Interventions for peace and security restoration at the request of a Member State; and
- Actions to prevent the spread of conflict to neighboring states, or the resurgence of violence after agreements have been reached.
The SADC Brigade serves in peace-building efforts including post-conflict disarmament and demobilisation and humanitarian assistance in conflict areas and areas impacted by major natural disasters.
The SADC Brigade operates as a tool of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation and receives its guidance from the SADC Committee of Chiefs of Defence staff and the Committee of SADC Police Chiefs.
Training of the Brigade at all levels is a key priority for SADC. The Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre located in Zimbabwe and other national peace support training institutions play a pivotal role in training military commanders, police officers and civilian officials at various levels.
Towards an African Standby Force
The African Standby Force will consist of civilian and military components in each African region ready for rapid deployment anywhere in Africa at appropriate notice. Who has authority to deploy the Force and who will fund the Force are two major questions that need answers before the Force can be mobilised. Until these paramount questions can be answered the African Standby Force remains regional and continental goal.