SA participates in AU safety, security meeting

South Africa is taking part in the 13th ordinary meeting of African chiefs of defence staff and heads of security and safety services at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis-Ababa.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is representing South Africa in the meeting which is currently underway.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the meeting will discuss inter alia, a number of essential issues in relation to safety and security in African countries.

Topping the agenda will be a report by the Assessment Team that undertook verifications in the regions of the status of the Regional Standby Forces. The team will present the final African Standby Force Assessment Report to the Specialised Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security, spokesperson Joy Peter said on Monday.

The purpose of the African Standby Force is to provide the AU with capabilities to respond to conflicts on the African continent through the deployment of peacekeeping forces.

The establishment is seen as a step towards curbing reliance on foreign powers, whose forces are deployed in Africa's conflict zones, which often causes tensions as African leaders seek African solutions for African problems.

These forces are mandated by the AU Constitutive Act to undertake interventions

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula is expected back in the country on Wednesday.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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