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JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE
25 August 1998
ROLE OF SANDF IN PEACEKEEPING OPERATION
The following persons were in attendance:
Dr R Williams: Director - Operations (Defence Secretariat)
Maj. Gen. A Bestbier: Chief Director - Operations (Chief of Joint Operations)
Dr Williams briefed the Committee on the latest draft of the White Paper on South African participation in International Peace Missions. He stated that the activities aimed at international conflict prevention, management and resolution has changed drastically over the last decade. Peacekeeping, which was basically militaristic, is presently complex and multi-dimensional with a political/diplomatic focus. Addressing the causes, rather then the symptoms of conflict is the new approach.
On the one hand South Africa's policy should not be overly prescriptive, otherwise South Africa will be a spectator to international/regional peace missions. On the other hand, it should not be open-ended, otherwise South Africa can become embroiled in contentious, ineffective and costly missions from which no honourable withdrawal might be possible.
Maj. Gen. Bestbier explained the aim, objectives and broad exercise programme of Exercise Blue Crane, a multi-national training exercise of the Defence Forces of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. This exercise will take place in South Africa (3-20 November 1998). The primary aim is to enhance the capacity of SADC countries' defence forces for peace support operations. The objectives included:
(a) to exercise regional multi-national command and control during peace support operations and
(b) to apply the principles of and doctrine of for peace support in accordance with UN and OAU principles.
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