Construction of a multi-million dollar Southern African Development Community (SADC) Standby Force regional logistics depot is set to begin in May next year. After completion, the depot at Rasesa, 10km west of Mochudi on the Gaborone/Mahalapye road, on the outskirts of Botswana’s capital Gaborone; will give shelter to general purpose equipment for the military, police and civilian components of the SADC standby force.
SADC’s director of defense and security affairs organ Jorge Cardoso says that SADC member states set aside US $10 million for the construction of the depot. The development of this project is at its second phase while tendering is still taking place. The actual construction is set to begin in May 2020. It is expected to start being operational by 2021, and full operational capability is expected to be in 2023.
The SADC standby force was initiated at the 27th Ordinary Summit of SADC heads of state and government in Lusaka 12 years ago. SADC’s Defense Chiefs in 2006 decided to establish a regional logistics depot in Botswana. Therefore Botswana allocated 19 hectares of land in Rasesa village in the Kgatleng tribal area for the project.
The regional logistics depot will provide storage receipt, inspect and also maintain equipment for all components of the SADC standby force.
Roles of the SADC standby Force
Alongside the SADC brigade, it supports regional peace operations. According to the regional bloc’s politics, defense and security organ, its functions are; observation and monitoring, peace support, interventions for peace and security restoration as requested by member states. Actions to prevent the spread of conflict or the revival of violence after agreements have been reached.