The inauguration of the SADC Standby Brigade which is to be held here on Friday during the 27th summit of SADC heads of state and government is a critical milestone for the defense and security in southern Africa.
In the security and safety sphere, "the globalization of the centers and means to acquire the know-how has brought about the globalization of cross border crime, drugs and human trafficking", SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salomao said on Thursday.
The sophistication of crime requires the sophistication of defense and security sector. "The region must stay alert and ready to respond not only to the threats to its own security and territorial integrity but also to the solicitations from the African Union and the United Nations," he said.
In this context, "we regard the expected inauguration of the SADC Standby Brigade, an important component of the SADC Standby Force, and the development of the SADC Early Warning mechanism, as critical milestones for the defense and security of our region," Salomao said.
This multilateral SADC force consists of three components, namely, military, police and civilian.It is set up within the provisions of the African Union that require each of its Five Regional Economic Communities (RECs) to have standby forces with the sole aim of peace support operations in the region.
Brigade members will remain in their countries on standby for action when the need arise. This will serve as a consolidation of SADC peacekeeping efforts that are currently carried out by individual SADC Member States in several regions of the world.
The SADC Brigade is to be launched on Friday at the Independence Stadium in Lusaka, capital of Zambia.