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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

African nations mull formation of rapid response force

KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) -- Military chiefs and experts from 12 African nations met here on Monday to discuss setting up a rapid response force on the continent.

This is the third time they are meeting under the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis (ACIRC) Volunteer Nations, an interim multinational initiative set up in November 2013 to decide if certain situations need military intervention on the continent.

The meeting started with a session on the robustness of the ACIRC to respond to crises and contribute to peace support operations.

Lt. Gen. Ivan Koreta, who opened the meeting on behalf of Gen. David Muhoozi, Uganda’s Chief of Defense Forces, said action needs to be taken to address protracted conflicts in some countries that are ruining peace on the continent.

“We need to have the capacity to support interventions at different levels and at the right time to deal with these conflicts,” he told the experts from Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa, Niger, Sudan and Uganda.

“ACIRC could deliver the right impact, address complex conflicts and deal with various scenarios much earlier than projected,” he added.

Koreta noted that the African nations need to operate together in an integrated manner to enhance cohesion and capacity to act.

The experts will review framework documents and budget estimates among others.

According to official figures, over 30 million U.S. dollars is required for the deployment of one battle group and force headquarters for the financial year 2017/2018.

Each voluntary nation is required to contribute 12,000 dollars annually for ACIRC operations and administrative matters.

A report from the experts and the defense chiefs will be forward to the defense ministers who will meet on Tuesday.

             

 

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