Thursday, October 1, 2009

SADC Media Statement on Exercise Golfinho

source: Republic of Botswana (30/9/09): TAUTONA TIMES no 25 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
“Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline”


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is celebrating yet another milestone in a plethora of achievements aimed at ensuring peace, stability and security in the region. It is our firm belief that peace and security are the bedrock for the achievement and acceleration of the SADC regional integration agenda.

The latest milestone in the attainment of the SADC vision of a shared future, in an environment of peace, security and stability manifested itself in the successful completion of the SADC Standby Force’s Filed Training codenamed Exercise Golfihno at Lohatlha in South Africa on 22 September 2009 and at Walvis Bay in Namibia on 23 September 2009. SADC Member States volunteered resources and personnel to ensure the success of Exercise Golfinho as a clear indication of their political will to carry out peacekeeping operations wherever peace, security and stability is required. Personnel from twelve SADC Member States took part in the training.

The SADC Standby Force was established under the Defence and Security Sectors of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation. It was launched at the 27th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia in August 2007.

The SADC Standby Force Operational Guidelines provide for the Standby Force to be exercised every two years. After the launch of the SADC Standby Force in 2007, the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation engaged SADC Member States through the different Statutory Making Bodies in the process of planning for the operations of the Force. Similarly, the SADC Secretariat planned three comprehensive and elaborative exercises to ensure that the SADC Standby Force can be launched into operations as and when mandated by the SADC Heads of State and Government.

The Republic of Angola hosted the first phase known as the Mapping Exercise in February 2009. That phase was used to complete the tactical plans of the Force. The second phase known as the Command Post exercise was hosted by the Republic of Mozambique in April 2009. The Command Post Exercise was used to test and integrate the plans made during the Mapping Exercise and to establish Headquarter procedures at the different level, using a computer-based simulation system. Exercise Golfihno is the last of the exercises.

Through Exercise Golfihno, SADC has set a trend in training for Peace Support Operations in an integrated manner. This is exemplified by the fact that the Field Training Exercise saw the various sectors such as the Civilian Component, the Force Commander, the Police Commissioner and the Head of Mission working together with an assortment of Civil Organisations in the field.

SADC is convinced that the lessons learnt from Exercise Golfihno will serve as guidelines for the formulation of the way forward and future reference material.

SADC looks to the future with great hope and pride after the successful Exercise Golfihno, an instrument that will assist the region and the African continent to create a peaceful and stable political and security environment which is a cornerstone for regional socio-economic development and prosperity. It is without doubt that Exercise Golfihno is a valuable investment in the stability and security of the region and the African continent at large.

With the successful conclusion of Exercise Golfihno, it is important that the SADC Standby Force is kept ready for mission that will ensure that the SADC region thrives in peace, security and stability as we forge ahead with our primary goal of regional integration, development and prosperity for our people.

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