Prelims cum Mains Security Issues

India kicks off military exercise with 17 nations as part of military outreach to Africa

The News

  • In step toward deepening defence cooperation with Africa, India is a hosting the 1st Africa-India joint field training exercise, AFINDEX—2019.

 

About AFINDEX 2019

  • Introduction
    • It is the India’s 1st joint military outreach programme with African nations.
    • Maratha Light Infantry of Indian Army and defence personnel from 17 African countries are participating in the joint military exercise.
    • The 10-day joint exercise is being held at Aundh Military Station, Pune.
  • Participating nations
    • The 17 African nations participating the joint exercise include- Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • Observers
    • Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar have joined the exercise as Observers.
  • Aim
    • The joint exercise is primarily focus on interoperability, knowledge exchange in best practices in both operational planning and tactical training.
  • Activities
    • India will train the participating contingents in:
  1. Humanitarian Mine Assistance: Tasks under HMA include:
    • Establishment and functioning of Mine Action Teams
    • Identification and survey of contaminated areas
    • Training in demining techniques
  1. Peace Keeping Operations under the United Nations Charter: Tasks under PKO include tactical exercise for:
    • Protection of civilians
    • Establishment of a standing combat deployment
    • Convoy protection
    • Patrolling
    • Training the rules of engagements under Chapter VII of United Nations Charter for Peace Keeping missions.

 

In brief: India-Africa Defence Cooperation

Background

  • India and Africa entered into a structured engagement with the launch of 1st India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008 at New Delhi.
  • 2nd India-Africa Forum Summit was held at Addis Ababa in 2011 followed by 3rd summit in New Delhi in 2015.
  • The 3rd Indo-African Forum Summit resulted in 2 important outcomes
  1. Delhi Declaration
  2. India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation
  • In March 2018, the 4th India Africa Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi.

 

Significance of Defence Cooperation

1. Maritime Security

  • India is emerging as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Further the concept of Indo-pacific includes Africa’s eastern coast, 2 western African littoral states of Angola and Nigeria.
  • Threats in the maritime security domain include
    • Piracy
    • Smuggling
    • Threat to energy security
    • Illegal fishing
    • Illegal migration
    • Human trafficking
  • Opportunities
    • Mozambique Channel has huge reserves of oil and can be significant in ensuring energy security.
  • Maritime security structure: India-Africa maritime security is based on 3 structures namely:
    • Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)
    • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
    • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

 2. Peace keeping operations

  • India has deployed about 6000 security personnel in 5 conflict zones in Africa as a part of UN peacekeeping forces.

3. Counter-terrorism

  • Africa is facing rise of radicalization and incidents of terrorism.
    • Boko Haram in Nigeria
    • Al-Qaeda in Mali and Sahel region
    • Al-Shabaab in Somalia
  • Djibouti is the new conflict zone in Africa providing shelter to Yemeni refugees.
  • Yemen in turn is propelling piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

4. Securing Asia-Africa Growth Corridor

  • Asia-Africa Growth Corridor is an India-Japan-Africa cooperation on connectivity, infrastructure and skill development projects.
  • In order to secure the AAGC projects, the security situation should be improved.

5. Countering China

  • China is rapidly expanding its sphere of influence to Africa with a number of infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • China sees Africa as the “New Great Game” due to its rich mineral resources.

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