Former Deputy Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen Ivan Koreta has called for a cohesive strategy to address diverse protracted conflicts ruining peace in Africa.
The continent continues to grapple with conflicts waged by extremists, militia groups and political dissidents.
The conflicts are visible in Central African Republic, Somalia, South Sudan, Eastern DRC and North Eastern Nigeria among others.
Addressing experts to the Chief of Defence Forces of the volunteer Nations of African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis
(ACIRC) called for combined efforts to address conflicts on the continent.
“African Capacity for immediate Response to crisis as a voluntary mechanism could deliver the right impact, address complex conflicts and deal with various scenarios much earlier than projected,” said Koreta.
He further stated that “Planning in an integrated manner, enhancing cohesion and building capacity is the way to go.”
The 3-day ministerial meeting of the African capacity will also be attended by the Chiefs of Defence staff and ministers of Defence from member states
Representing Uganda’s CDF Gen David Muhozi, Lt. Gen Ivan Koreta who opened the first session appreciated African Union(AU) for selecting Uganda to host the meeting; terming it a milestone in the operationalisation of African capacities for immediate Response crisis.
In the past Volunteer nations of the ACRIC have committed themselves by jointly conducting military exercises and also planning more exercises to test forces’ readiness to deploy to conflict hot spots in the continent as mandated.
The African Capacity for immediate response to crises (ACIRC) was established by the AU Assembly during its 21st ordinary session in Addis Ababa from 26-27 May 2013.
Subsequent to the AU Assembly in its 26th ordinary session held in Adisababa Ethiopia from 30-31January 2016, it was decided that ACIRC continues its mandate.
In this regard, the ACIRC ministerial meeting is being convened with the aim of providing an update on the status and readiness of ACIRC forces.
While delivering a report of the Chairpersons of the African union Commission on the ACIRC Maj Gen Francis Okello (Chief Planning and Operations) reported a challenge of a number of volunteering Nations (VNs) yet to sign the ACIRC Framework memorandum of understanding(MOU) between the AU and governments contributing Resources to ACIRC.
The Assembly Decision states that “upon a request by AU member state(s), the AU peace and security council (PSU) shall authorize the deployment of a force in accordance with the provisions of the AU Constitutive Act, especially Articles 4(h) and 4(j) and that the “implementation of the mandate shall be coordinated by the PSC.”
Last year, ACIRC decided that the deployment of ACRC should be the responsibility of the AU PSC in consultation with ACIRC volunteering before issuance of the mandate.
The meeting has proposed that VNs that have not yet signed MOUs to consider signing them without delay.