Leadership (Abuja)

Africa: Jonathan Backs Peace-Keeping Task Force in Africa

President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday in Paris that the Federal Government will support the formation of Africa Stand-by Force, a specialized task force meant to take control of the security challenges in Africa.

Speaking in an interview he granted France 24 television after the end of a two day-summit on peace and security in Africa hosted by President Francois Hollande of France, Jonathan said Nigeria as a committed nation to global peace keeping, welcomed the formation of the specialised force.

The formation of the Africa Stand-by Force was formed as part of the resolutions of the summit to commence operation not later than 2015 to enable the continent take charge of its own security.

Given his nod to the special force, the Nigerian President said, "We totally support it because we also believe that by having a robust stand-by force, it is much better than the ad-hoc contributions by Nations.

They can mobilise very quickly whenever we have challenges and there is the need to deploy them. So, we support it and we thank the President and people of France for supporting Africa in this regard".

Noting that a stand by force dedicated to conflicts resolution will assist the continent in nipping any crisis in the bud, he said before escalatione said there will be no need to wait for other developed nation to send troops to crisis zones in the continent or waiting for UN resolutions before troop deployment.

Jonathan said, "When you have this stand-by force, they now have an operational order covering the whole of Africa. Anywhere there is conflict; it will not require UN resolution, but a host country's invitation and an endorsement by the AU".

President Jonathan who observed that the Stand-by Force should be elastic in its composition and contribution by member States of the African Union said contributions should depend on challenges and resources.

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