23 August 2007
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has launched a stand-by peacekeeping brigade to be deployed on peace missions and tackle disarmament and humanitarian crises in the region.
The SADC Brigade will also form part of a planned African Union stand-by force, the new SADC chairman, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, said at the brigade’s launch at the 27th SADC Summit in Lusaka, Zambia on Friday.
Mwanawasa said the attainment of the SADC ideals goals of political peace and socio-economic development required “an environment of peace, security and political stability”, and that it was for this reason that the SADC Brigade had been launched.
The brigade comprises military, police and humanitarian components that will be located in their countries of origin, where they will be on stand-by to be deployed rapidly throughout Africa at any time.
The stand-by force will also perform observation and peace support missions, and will be ready to intervene at the request of a member state to restore peace and prevent conflicts from spreading to neighbouring countries.
It will also serve in post-conflict disarmament and demobilisation, offer humanitarian assistance to civilians in conflict areas, and provide support in areas devastated by major natural disasters.