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Date: 17/08/2007
Source: Zambian Government
Title: Zambia: Mwanawasa: Launch of the SADC Brigade


SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA AND SADC CHAIRPERSON MR LEVY PATRICK MWANAWASA, SC, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY BRIGADE (SADCBRIG) IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, ON 17TH AUGUST, 2007

IT IS MY SINGULAR HONOUR AND PRIVILEGE TO WELCOME YOUR EXCELLENCIES, HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT AND DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES TO THIS HISTORIC OCCASION IN OUR REGION.

TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY, OUR REGION GAVE BIRTH TO THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COORDINATION CONFERENCE (SADCC) HERE IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA, WHERE OUR MARCH TOWARDS A COMMON FUTURE COMMENCED. IN 1992 THE SADCC WAS TRANSFORMED INTO THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC) THEREBY GIVING OUR INSTITUTION LEGAL STATUS.

THE REGION'S COLLECTIVE IDEALS REMAIN THE PRIDE, ANCHOR AND DRIVING FORCE IN OUR RESOLVE TO LIVE IN POLITICAL PEACE, SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SUSTAINED SECURITY. OUR RESOLVE IS TO ALLEVIATE POVERTY WITH THE AIM TO ERADICATE IT.

THIS IS ONE NOBLE GOAL, BUT WHICH, AS REALITY WOULD HAVE IT, IS ONLY TENABLE IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF PEACE, SECURITY AND POLITICAL STABILITY, WHICH ARE PREREQUISITES FOR DEVELOPMENT.

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES,
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,

IT IS AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND THAT WE ARE GATHERED HERE TODAY TO WITNESS THE LAUNCH OF THE SADC BRIGADE, OUR OWN REGIONAL MULTI-DIMENSIONAL PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS CAPABILITY, ESTABLISHED UNDER THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE POLICY FRAMEWORK.

IT IS MADE UP OF RESOURCES PLEDGED BY SADC MEMBER STATES ON STANDBY ARRANGEMENT AND COMPRISING THE MILITARY, THE POLICE AND CIVILIAN COMPONENTS.

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES,
DISTINGUISHED GUESTS,

THE SCOURGE OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA CONSTITUTES A MAJOR IMPEDIMENT TO THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONTINENT. IT IS THUS IMPERATIVE FOR ALL OF US TO SPEARHEAD THE PROMOTION OF PEACE, SECURITY AND STABILITY AS A NECESSARY PREREQUISITE FOR AFRICA'S SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION.

THE REALITY OF THIS SITUATION COMPELLED AFRICAN LEADERS TO TRANSFORM THE ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN UNITY (AOU) TO THE AFRICAN UNION (AU), IN CONFORMITY WITH THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER AND THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVES OF THE OAU CHARTER.

THAT TRANSFORMATION USHERED INTO BEING MECHANISMS, AMONGST OTHERS, THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL, THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE AND THE MILITARY STAFF COMMITTEE - ALL AIMED AT THE MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY OF THE CONTINENT.

AFRICA HAS REDOUBLED ITS EFFORTS AND ACHIEVED PROGRESS TOWARDS THE FORMALISATION OF RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UN AND THE AU, SPECIFICALLY TO ENHANCE CONFLICTS MANAGEMENT. AT THE SAME TIME, THE DETERIORATION OF PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA, ESPECIALLY THE RISE IN THE NUMBER AND INTENSITY OF INTERNAL CONFLICTS, LED TO A RE-OPENING OF THE DEBATE ON THE NEED FOR A CONTINENTAL SECURITY AGENDA.
IN JULY 2004, AFRICAN HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT MET IN ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, AND APPROVED THE POLICY FRAMEWORK DOCUMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE AND MILITARY STAFF COMMITTEE WITHIN THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 4(D) OF THE CONSTITUTIVE ACT OF THE AFRICAN UNION AND ARTICLE 13 OF THE PROTOCOL RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AFRICAN UNION.

THE CONCEPT IS THAT ONCE FULLY ESTABLISHED, THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE WILL CONSIST OF STANDBY MULTIDISCIPLINARY CONTINGENTS, WITH CIVILIAN AND MILITARY COMPONENTS LOCATED IN THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN AND READY FOR RAPID DEPLOYMENT ANYWHERE IN AFRICA AT APPROPRIATE NOTICE.
THE PURPOSE OF THE SADC BRIGADE IS TO PARTICIPATE IN MISSIONS AS ENVISAGED IN ARTICLE 13 OF THE "MANDATE" OF THE PROTOCOL ESTABLISHING THE PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE AU WHICH INCLUDES:

 PERFORMING OBSERVATION AND MONITORING MISSIONS;
 PEACE SUPPORT MISSIONS;
 INTERVENTIONS FOR PEACE AND SECURITY RESTORATION IN GRAVE CIRCUMSTANCES AT THE REQUEST OF A MEMBER STATE; AND
 PREVENT THE SPREADING TO NEIGHBOURING AREAS OR STATES OF CONFLICTS OR THE RESURGENCE OF VIOLENCE AFTER AGREEMENTS HAVE BEEN REACHED.

THE SADC BRIGADE SHALL ALSO SERVE IN PEACE-BUILDING EFFORTS INCLUDING POST-CONFLICT DISARMAMENT AND DEMOBILISATION AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO ALLEVIATE THE SUFFERING OF CIVILIAN POPULATIONS IN CONFLICT AREAS AND SUPPORT EFFORTS ON MAJOR NATURAL DISASTERS.

CONSTITUTED UNDER THE AU PROTOCOL ON PEACE AND SECURITY REQUIRING ALL REGIONAL ECONOMIC COMMUNITIES TO HAVE STANDBY PEACE KEEPING FORCES, THE SADC BRIGADE SHALL HAVE THE PLANNING ELEMENTS AT THE SADC SECRETARIAT AS ITS ONLY PERMANENT STRUCTURE.

IT OPERATES ON A DAILY BASIS 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.

THE SADC BRIGADE, LIKE ALL OTHER REGIONAL BRIGADES, WILL BE PART AND PARCEL OF THE AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE.
THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK IS DESIGNED IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE EARMARKED CAPABILITIES OF THE TROOPS OR PERSONNEL BY CONTRIBUTING COUNTRIES TO THE SADC BRIGADE, SHOULD REMAIN DOMICILED WITHIN THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN, ON AN ‘ON CALL' LEVEL OF ALERT FOR THE DURATION OF THE ASSIGNMENT IN LINE WITH PRESCRIBED TIMES OF RESPONSE. IN SHORT, THIS IS IN FACT A PERMANENT STANDBY ARRANGEMENT.

A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WAS CONCLUDED AMONG THE PARTICIPATING NATIONS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE A SOUND LEGAL BASIS FOR THEIR CO-OPERATION IN THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SADC BRIGADE.

TRAINING OF THE BRIGADE AT ALL LEVELS WILL REMAIN A KEY PRIORITY FOR SADC IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE THE PRINCIPLE OF UNIFORMITY AND BE ABLE TO OPERATE TOGETHER ITS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT.

THE WORK ALREADY DONE BY THE INTER-STATE DEFENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE IN THIS AREA WILL SERVE AS A SOUND BASIS FOR A WAY FORWARD. THE REGIONAL PEACEKEEPING TRAINING CENTRE LOCATED IN ZIMBABWE AND OTHER NATIONAL PEACE SUPPORT TRAINING INSTITUTIONS WILL PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE OF TRAINING MILITARY COMMANDERS, POLICE OFFICERS AND CIVILIAN OFFICIALS AT VARIOUS LEVELS WHILE, AT THE SAME TIME, ACTING AS A "CLEARING HOUSE" FOR ALL PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES IN THE REGION.

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESS,
YOUR EXCELLENCIES,
DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES

I WISH TO COMMEND THE HARD AND LABORIOUS WORK DONE BY THE SADC ORGAN ON POLITICS, DEFENCE AND SECURITY CO-OPERATION FOR THE REALISATION OF THIS HISTORIC OCCASION TODAY. IN THE SAME VEIN, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE ORGANISERS OF THE PARADE AND ALL THE PARTICIPANTS FOR SUCH A WONDERFUL DISPLAY. WE HAVE INDEED SET A MILESTONE FOR OUR MEMBER NATIONS AND FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD.

I NOW WISH TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DECLARE THE SADC BRIGADE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED.

I THANK YOU.


Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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