Angolan appointed as African Force on Standby Chief of Staff
An Angolan general will be appointed as interim Chief of Staff of the African Force on State of Alert (ASAF).
Lieutenant General António Lamas Benedito Xavier, was appointed to the post on Friday, July 1 by the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Since February, Mr Xavier served as military advisor to the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the continental organisation Mr Bankole Adeoye.
He also served as Brigade Commander, Deputy Chief of the Operations Directorate of the National Air Force and Chief of the Anti-Aircraft Defence Directorate of the Angolan National Air Force, among other positions.
“This appointment is a reason for joy for Angola, the recent nomination of President João Lourenço as Champion/Promoter of Peace and Reconciliation in Africa gives more relevance to this position and brings with it an increase in responsibilities”, Angolan news agency Angop quoted Lieutenant General Xavier as saying.
Francisco José da Cruz, Angola’s ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, quoted by Angop, admitted that the appointment of the his country´s national is in line with the relevance of the state´s plan and its active behaviour in terms of conservation, management and resolution of conflicts on the continent, enabling the evolution and economic inclusion of Africa.
The choice of the new Chief of Staff of ASAF, according to a statement seen by Angop had access, is in line with the final declaration of the Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa – held in May, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The document establishes the instrumentalisation of the ASAF “without further delay” as well as the strengthening of “coordination with Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms on its use”.
The design of a counter-terrorism unit is among the main tasks of the ASAF, the statement adds.