Participants at the maiden annual interface of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Regional Mechanisms (RMs) in Africa have called for stronger working relationship between the African Union’s African Standby Forces (ASF) and the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF).
The call was made on 7th November 2019 in Accra, Ghana at the end of the Interface on Enhancing Cooperation of the Regional Economic Communities and the Regional Mechanisms hosting the regional forces of the ASF.
The Interface was organized by the ECOWAS Permanent Representation to the African Union with the Commission in the spirit of enhancing coordination between and amongst the RECs and RMs as main actors of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA).
As a new initiative, the inaugural interface is designed to bring together key officials in the military, police and civilian components of the standby forces to share experiences and ideas on promoting operational synergies towards enhancing the post-FOC status of the African Standby Force.
The meeting recommended regular multidimensional, joint and collaborative trainings involving the three components of the Peace Support Operations (military, police and civilian) of the standby forces.
Also recommended was the sensitization of continental, regional and national authorities of the importance of the peace support operational activities of the forces and the need for its inclusion in their priorities and plans of action.
Participants further called for improvements in the internal mechanisms and procedures for accessing and disbursing funds related to peace support operations.
In addition, they urged Member States, Regional Economic Communities and continental bodies to redeem their funding pledges or contributions to Peace Support Operations in order to minimize over-reliance on donors.
Participants also proposed a revisit of all ad hoc arrangements relating to Peace Support Operations so as to streamline the multiplicity of such initiatives on the continental and regional levels with operational timelines.
Among other recommendations was the call for enhanced communication strategies and guidelines between the AU’s African Standby Forces and the Regional Economic Communities and also between Regional Economic Communities and the Regional Mechanisms.
In this regard, it was proposed that the African Union should take the lead in developing communication channels among all the Regional Standby Forces.