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By Simon Shabangu - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-26-Aug-2009

A SADC peace keeping brigade was yesterday commissioned by His Majesty, King Mswati 111

A SADC peace keeping brigade was yesterday commissioned by His Majesty, King Mswati 111. The team of 237 – 200 soldiers, 27 cops and 10 civilians – will be based in Bloemfontein in South Africa where they will take part in a month-long peace keeping training.

His Majesty King Mswati III told them that SADC beilieves in resolving conflict through dialogue – saying that sending troops in always the last resort in such situations. “Even if you go to the troubled countries to keep law and order, you must go there and find a workable environment. It is important that when you arrive in that particular country you receive a warm welcome and be able to execute your duty without a problem,” said the King.

He also advised the brigade to uphold the Swazi culture of respect, which has become known worldwide – saying he expects the team to raise Swaziland’s flag high through hard work and behaviour. “The training is a good opportunity for you to learn because you will learn a lot of things. You are also expected to be good ambassadors to those you leave behind because they are expected to learn from you when you come back. You should also bring to order anyone who goes astray.” The King is Chairman of the SADC Troika Organ on Defense and Security.

Meanwhile the army Commander Sobantu Dlamini told the King that the brigade is made up of 200 soldiers, 27 police officers and 10 civilians. The Army Commander also told the King that the brigade leaves the country at different intervals as the first group will leave at the end of this month.

The army Commander also added that the aim of the training is to arm the SADC Troops to be able to work as a team and also be able to be part of a African Union known as Standby Force. “The Standby Force comes from the African continent as a whole and will be officially launched next year in Ethiopia,” explained the army commander.

The local brigade is made up of three components -the Military which is led by Colonel Welile Magagula - the Royal Swaziland Police which is led by Senior Superintendent Andrew Sibandze and the civil component led by Chief Immigration Officer, Phineas Dlamini.

Former minister, Mathendele Dlamini was appointed the Head of Mission for the SADC Brigade by His Majesty King Mswati III and will be in the forefront of the whole operation.

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