Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Staff College Commandant Brigadier General Luke Yetala has said deployment of integrated peace support operations (PSOs) can be more effective through joint and integrated training.
Speaking on Friday evening at the end of a Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Combined Joint African Exercise (CJAX), which involved military colleges from the region, he said while traditional peacekeeping has focused on inter-State conflict, modern conflict and security challenges require an integrated approach to address various competing aspects of human security.
Said Yetala: “Human security involves addressing issues of hunger, disasters, pandemics and armed conflicts, among others. These contemporary challenges demanded whole of government approach, including the police, corrections and civilian government ministries, departments and agencies.
“It is only through this joint and integrated training that we can achieve interoperability. The initiative by Sadc on CJAX is a commendable and positive step in the right direction.”
He hailed the just-ended training, code-named Exercise Uhuru and urged the participating countries to develop, strengthen and spread unity across the region and Africa as a whole.
Exercise Uhuru was coordinated by Zimbabwe Staff College Commandant Brigadier General Dr. Joe Muzvidziwa who said the aim of CJAX is to promote synergy between Sadc Command and Staff Colleges as well as to develop a better understanding of the challenges involved in planning and coordinating multinational PSOs, among others.
In a live address from Zimbabwe Defence Force Staff College, he said it also promotes the practice of operational level planning using United Nations Integrated Mission Planning Processes and the African Union doctrine.
Said Muzvidziwa: “The exercise has improved integration and interoperability as well as cooperation between the staff colleges through directing staff and student exchange.”
During the exercise, experts from military, police, correctional services, and humanitarian agencies mentored participants on what role each organ plays when deployed in a peace support operation in a war- troubled country.
The five-day exercise drew participants from Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Tanzania, Mozambique and Namibia and Kenya were observers.