The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community, His Excellency Mr. Elias Mpedi Magosi, congratulated the Government of Botswana for signing the Agreement to host the regional logistics depot of the Standby Force. SADC.
HE Magosi made the remarks on October 21, 2021 during the signing of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and the SADC Secretariat, for the accommodation of the SADC Standby Force Regional Logistics Depot ( RLD), in the village of Rasesa, Botswana. At the signing ceremony, Botswana was represented by the Minister of Defense, Justice and Security, the Honorable Thomas Kagiso Mmusi, and was accompanied by the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr. Lemogang Kwape , while the SADC Secretariat was represented by HE Magosi.
The Executive Secretary expressed his gratitude to the government of Botswana for the allocation to the regional block of 19 hectares of land for the construction of the RLD and the granting of a land lease signed in 2012. He described the gesture of the government of Botswana confirmation of the commitment to contribute to and facilitate peace and security in the Region.
He said that when completed, the depot will allow for the storage of end user materials, equipment and stocks to be used by the SADC Standby Force when carrying out peace support and humanitarian missions. . The depot will provide a central platform for the provision of logistical support to the SADC Standby Force.
HE Magosi further stated that the depot will include a variety of buildings including offices, residential buildings, warehouses, workshops and supporting infrastructure such as roads, sewers, water, electricity. and security systems. The facility will be built in phases at an estimated total cost of US $ 45 million and is expected to be fully operational by 2026.
Hon. Mmusi stressed that the depot will ensure a rapid deployment capability of the SADC Standby Force, which will allow SADC to act quickly to save lives and prevent escalation of crises. He said the recent deployment of SADC forces to Mozambique demonstrated that the depot is needed to alleviate some mobilization challenges that can be best addressed by a fully functional logistics depot to support a rapid response.
Minister Mmusi said signing the Accord signified his government’s strong commitment to ensure that SADC has the capacity to maintain peace and security in the region. He reiterated his government’s determination to meet all the obligations set out in the Accord in order to ensure that the facility is fully operational.
In August 2004, the Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government took the decision to establish the SADC Regional Logistics Depot to store end-user material, equipment and stocks, to be used in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief efforts by the SADC Standby Force.