Presented by the Training for Peace (TfP) Project in the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Division (CMPB), ISS Pretoria Office.
The African Standby Force (ASF) is envisioned as a multidimensional force composed not only of the military but also of police and civilian components.
The establishment of the ASF started in earnest in 2003, but with the military in the lead. It was not until 2008 that the first police officers were recruited into the African Union (AU) Support Operations Division (PSOD), as part of the strategic level management structure of the Planning Element (PLANELM). Since then, the AU PSOD has undertaken initiatives to develop the policy framework of the police dimension, including guidelines for AU Formed Police Units (FPU) and the AU Police Rapid Deployment Capability Concept. These developments are also relevant to the police component of the SADC Standby Force.
At the same time, however, the AU has pursued second-track conflict resolution and management in deploying peace missions mandated by its Peace and Security Council (PSC). A police component of about 1 340 officers was for the first time deployed in 2004 as part of the AU Mission in Sudan-Darfur (AMIS).
Currently, the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) also includes a police component of 231 officers. As a type of future ASF deployment, the recent successes of AMISOM make it imperative to take a critical look at the future role and functions of the ASF.
As part of plans to further develop the capacity and expertise of the police component, the AU PSOD will be conducting a Police Civilian Focused Exercise (POLCIVEX), NJIWA, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October/November 2012. The exercise will be in prelude to Exercise AMANI AFRICA II, which is expected to mark the ASF`s full operational capability and operationalisation in 2015.
All the indications therefore are that the police dimension of the ASF is increasingly becoming a fully integral part of a multidimensional ASF, although institutional, capacity and other logistical challenges remain to be addressed.
This ASF seminar, the second of its kind in the past two months, seeks to provide a forum to discuss such questions as: What is the progress made thus far in the operationalisaton of the police dimension of the ASF? What are the main challenges being encountered in the process and how are they being addressed? And, what role will the police dimension of the ASF be able to play in Africa`s future complex humanitarian emergencies, given lessons learnt from AMISOM`s operational challenges and successes?
- Gen. Mike Fryer, Former Police Commissioner, AMIS & AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)
- C/Supt Gariba Sayibu, Police Training Officer, ASF, Addis Ababa
- ACP Daniel Nyambabe, Director SADC Police, Gaborone
- Supt Ben Agordzo (PhD), Police Training & Development Coordinator, AMISOM
- Festus B. Aboagye, Senior Research Fellow and Head, Training for Peace, ISS
ISS Rule: Participants are free to use the information presented, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participants, may be revealed without his/her express permission.
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