Botswana component of SADC Standby Force ready for peace support

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The Botswana Defense Force (BDF) hosted an inspection of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) specialist team to check for readiness for African Standby Force (ASF) roster duties for peace support operations (PSOs).

This SADC Secretariat has been working on pre-deployment verification of BDF pledged capabilities for PSOs earlier this month (February).

The regional bloc said in a statement the SADC Standby Force (SSF) assumed the ASF roster duties at the start of the year for a six month rotation with other continental regional economic communities.

The ASF roster was put in place in January 2014 following a decision by the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security (STCDSS) of the Continental Body.

Assumption of the ASF standby roster gives the SADC Standby Force primary responsibility as first responder to conflict situations on the continent via a rapid deployment capability. "In this regard the SADC Standby Force will for the period, be the torchbearer for implementing peacekeeping and peace-building efforts, including post-conflict disarmament and demobilization," according to an SADC statement.

During the pre-deployment verification, capabilities pledged by the BDF are confirmed for both availability and operational readiness to assume peace support duties. "Personnel showed a high level of readiness and motivation to take part in any mission."

The SADC team led by Chief of Staff, Brigadier Michael Mukokomani, was received by BDF Ground Forces Commander, Major General Molefhi Seikano, who has been briefed on the BDF. This includes pre-deployment training.

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