Botswana has signed an agreement with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) under which Gaborone will host an armoury and peacekeeping logistics depot for the SADC Standby Brigade.
Speaking during the signing ceremony for the Memorandum of Agreement between the Botswana government and the SADC Secretariat in Gaborone on Thursday, Botswana’s Defence Minister Thomas Mmusi said depot would “guarantee a rapid deployment capability of the SADC Standby Force which will facilitate SADC to act promptly to save lives and prevent crises from escalating.”
“The recent deployment of SADC forces in Mozambique has demonstrated that we need this depot to be functional as soon as it possibly can,” Mmusi said.
He noted that the deployment of the SADC intervention force in July to quell the unrest in Mozambique’s Cabo Del Gado region “exposed some mobilisation challenges which can be best addressed by a fully functional logistics depot to support a quick reaction.”
SADC has deployed about 3,000 forces drawn from five member states to assist Mozambican government forces fight Islamic State-linked insurgents who have caused havoc in the country’s northern-most province since 2017.
“The signing of this agreement signifies my government’s firm commitment to ensuring that SADC possesses the capability to maintain peace and security within the region.”
The SADC Regional Logistics Depot would be used to store material, equipment and end-user stocks to be used in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief efforts by the SADC Standby Force.