It examined the rapid deployment capability of an African Standby Force as a startup operation and a multidimensional peace support operation. Said Marsden Momanyi, Communications Officer for the African Union Commission:
"This exercise represents a significant development of the African Standby Force and will serve to evaluate the state of readiness towards the achievement of Full Operational Capability." The conference was attended by delegates from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Union (EU) and Centre of Excellence for Stability of Police Units (CoESPU).
Mmegi Correspondent Ofentse Mmereki caught up with CoESPU delegate, Lieutenant Colonel Massimo Contri, on the sidelines of the conference. Excepts:
Mmegi: What was your involvement and contribution in the planning conference of the Amani Africa II field training exercise? Contri:CoESPU is the Centre of Excellence for Stability in Police Units managed by Italy's Arma dei Carabinieri (www.carabinieri.it) which has been a strategic partner with the African Union for several years. It is normally required to contribute police training activities by some of its experts to quite a number of other organisations.
Mmegi: Can you please summarise the objectives of your presentation?
Contri: All working groups involved in Amani II have coordinated their efforts to prepare a number of documents useful for the exercise that is supposed to simulate peacekeeping activities oriented to the protection of civilians.
Mmegi: How does CoESPU as an organisation intend to uphold the value of peacekeeping throughout the African continent? Contri: CoESPU is part of an international programme whose core business is the training of police forces and civilians involved in peacekeeping activities in partnership with a number of African countries. Courses held at its HQ in Vicenza, Italy are regularly attended by officials from Africa and Asia.
Mmegi: How does CoESPU engage the media in its framework to ensure a good distribution of information on peacekeeping? Contri: Depending on the level of what is required, CoESPU will spread information related to its activities through the press, the Internet and other media.