PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2008 Selected
En Français
N°: 056/2008
12 June 2008 [Bamako]

FIRST ECOWAS EXERCISE TO ASSESS READINESS OF ITS STANDBY FORCE STARTS IN BAMAKO

							
	A seven-day exercise to assess the status of the troops pledged for the 6,500-
strong ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), their operational readiness, equipment and 
training level will begin in Bamako, Mali on 15th June 2008.  

Experts from the military, police, gendarmerie and their civilian counterparts 
and pledged troops from all 15 Member States, will participate in the exercise 
which will also evaluate the capacity of the ESF Task Force Headquarters to 
plan and conduct peace-keeping operations as well as the capacity of the 
dedicated transmission company to establish reliable communications.

The exercise, the first to be organized by ECOWAS, will enable the organizers 
to simulate the involvement of the police and civilian components of the ESF 
to test the operational procedures for the Force.   

This certification exercise ends a series of training programmes designed for 
officers from the Task Force Headquarters of the Standby Force – the 
designated headquarters staff of the Force - and Commanders of the various 
units pledged by Member States. 

Training already conducted for the ESF includes a brigade command post 
programme, civil military cooperation and disarmament, demobilization and 
reintegration training, which are intended to enhance the knowledge of the 
participants of the concept, principles and doctrine of peace support 
operations. 

The credibility of this exercise will enable the ESF Force Task Force 
component to become operational before the end of 2008. The main brigade will 
be under the operational control of the African Union, within the framework of 
the African Standby Force, and will be available as one of the standby forces 
for the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the continent.

For the first time in an ECOWAS exercise involving the force, the African 
Union will be represented, alongside the Southern Africa Development Community 
(SADC), the multinational Standby High Readiness Brigade based in Denmark 

(SHIRBRIG) and the Ethiopia-based Eastern African Standby Force (EASTBRIG).  

The European Union, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United 
States of America, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will 
also be represented at the exercise, which will take place at the Ecole du 
Maintien de la Paix in Bamako, one of the three ECOWAS Centres of Excellence. 

The others are the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre in Accra, 
Ghana and the National Defence College in Abuja, Nigeria. 




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