ADDIS ABABA-President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has called for harmonization of the African stand by force (ASF), saying it was an urgent and necessary step for Africa’s self-defense system.
Museveni who is in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to participate in the 33rd Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), made these remarks while chairing a meeting on African Capacity for immediate response to crisis (ACIRC).
The president said that, going as far back as 1963, concerted efforts by those who were willing and capable had delivered victory against imperialist forces to the African people.
Unfortunately, he said that the spirit has continued to dwindle, resulting in the shameful and direct affront on Africa again, even against the express advice of the African Union.
“In Libya, I am personally ashamed that a committee of African Heads of State, mid-air to Libya to hold discussions with Gadhafi and opposing factions, was told to turn around because NATO had made the decision to start bombing Libya. This is not to speak of what the current reports are saying about Mali, Niger, Libya, Sahel and so on,” Museveni said.
Adding: “In Somalia, a few of us decided to move in on the Al-Shabab and we have delivered over and above, amidst challenges. This clearly demonstrates that Africa has the capacity to solve many of its problems, which requires a sustainable and multi-pronged approach to support the effort itself and the gains thereof. The need, is more urgent now, than before.”
– ACIRC –
Despite the operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) within the AU security system, rapid reaction remains a challenging task, as a number of crises on the continent have demonstrated.
The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) was therefore proposed following an initiative from South Africa, in order to equip the AU with a rapid deployment instrument.
Africa Tembelea understands that the main purpose of the ACIRC is to make Africans resolve their problems themselves, employ capacities and potentials of the continent and boost values of cooperation and solidarity among the member states.
However, many challenges lie ahead. These range from outright opposition from some member states, funding gaps, troop contribution and logistical worries to mandate issues on generating, deploying and withdrawing troops, as well as the question of how to integrate the ACIRC into the AU’s existing security structures.