TfP Partners attend the African Union AMANI II After Action Report and African Standby Force Work Plan 2016-2020 workshop
28 Apr 2016
Over the past two decades that Africa has been working to build its capacity, capability and competence to respond to the asymmetric conflict related challenges confronting the continent, much ground has been covered and significant success has been achieved, albeit with loss of life, destruction of infrastructure and some operational setbacks. The workshop had two objectives, namely, to finalise the AMANI II Field Training Exercise (FTX) After Action Review (AAR), and to ensure that the AMANI II FTX AAR recommendations are embedded in the Maputo Work Plan on the ASF (ASF Work Plan 2016-2020). The AMANI II FTX Evaluation team monitored the development of AMANI II throughout the complete process: from the planning cycle to the evaluation of the FTX. The Maputo workshop brought together all the FTX key appointees as well as the Planning Elements (PLANELMs) from the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs). Approximately 130 individuals participated in the workshop. Africa, using the established structures of the African Union Commission (AUC), reconciled itself to the existing levels of effectiveness and capacity to respond to threats and has since been working to change the status quo in order to capacitate itself to ably engage the dynamics of contemporary conflicts. With the support derived from partnerships around the world, such as the Training for Peace (TfP) programme, European Union (EU), United States (US), Japanese, French, British and other individual European country professional and financial and a host of other independent and private institutions that have contributed in various and numerous ways, Africa has been working tirelessly to build a robust and composite African Standby Force (ASF) to rid the continent of the scourge of violent and destructive conflict. During his opening remarks Commissioner Smail Chergui highlighted the following two issues: The following aspects of Mission Support remain a concern: strategic lift, logistics (processes and sustainability), and the ASF concept needs to be revisited to ensure it is aligned with current conflict trends, including violent extremism/terrorism. The workshop allowed for in-depth discussion based on observations, challenges and recommendations that were then included in the Maputo work plan on the ASF 2016-2020. Some of the most important aspects that were highlighted included: The gap between AU Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) Headquarters and the RECs/RMs remains obvious. RECs/RMs and member states do not select, train, roster and then adhere to standby arrangements. In summary, the AU cannot rely on PLANELMS pledges. The requirement to enhance effective communication, including hardware, amongst the RECs/RMs, AU PSOD, other African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) elements on tactical, operational and strategic levels need to improve. The legal aspects such as Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and Status of forces agreements (SOFAs) and status of mission agreements (SOMAs) with RECs/RM’s and host nations need to be rectified. The ASF needs to finally become serious about the full integration of civilians in all aspects of the ASF. The Maputo plan absorbed all recommendations made during the workshop: from timely inclusion of senior leadership during planning until the liquidation of a mission. The workshop was productive, allowed ample opportunity to ensure that the current Draft Maputo work plan on the ASF 2016-2020 will be ready for consideration at the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Security and Safety (STDCSS) at the end of May 2016.