The head of African Union Team to the ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, has called on African countries to address facing the continent.
He said the intervention of the international community on the security issues facing the continent was dependent on the role played by Africans themselves.
Gambari, who spoke while leading a delegation of the AU on a courtesy visit to the Minister of State of Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, in Abuja Nigeria recently, adeded that it would be wrong for Africans to depend on the international community for their security.
He said, “Africans may not have the entire wherewithal but experience has shown that it is only when we make the first effort that the international community will come to help us.”
Gambari told the minister that the AU team was in the country to access the possibility of the Africa standby Force becoming fully operational in 2015.
He said the team had the responsibility to take a critical look at the Force, examine its challenges and proffer solutions to make it better.
He said the AU team would also examine the ECOWAS component of the AU standby force before going to East Africa, North Africa and Central Africa.
He added that the experience of the deployment of troops from contributing African countries in Mali showed that while the continent had an effective standby force on paper, it was defective and inadequate.
“We have seen in the case of Mali that we may have the most dutiful standby force on paper but when it comes to rapid deployment it is not always there, so how can we enhance this standby force to do the work for which it was created?
“The African Heads of State mandate us and they expect a report which will first go through the ministers of defense of the AU and the Summit-in-general,” he added.
However, he identified inadequate funding as one of the problems affecting the team. In her reactions, the minister of state said the African countries must learn from the issue of deployment in Mali for AU standby force to be effectively operational.
Source Punch Nigeria
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