AFINDEX-19: ‘India’s Advantages Over China Must Be Leveraged in Africa’

Amitabh P Revi New Delhi 30 March 2019

Ex-UN Secretary General’s Deputy Special Representative and former UN Force Commander in Sudan Lt Gen (retd) Jasbir Lidder speaks to SNI Associate Editor Amitabh Revi on the largest joint military exercises India has held with African nations, training, technology and how India can use its advantages over China.  General Lidder is actively involved in several Indian and international academies for UN training.

First Multilateral Africa-India Military Exercises: Fact Sheet

17 African countries took part in the first Africa-India (AFINDEX-19) Field Training Exercise that ended this week at the Aundh Military Station, Pune. The aim was practice in planning and conduct of Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace Keeping Operations under Chapter VII of United Nations Peace Keeping Operations.

Image Courtesy: Indian Army

The exercise focussed on tactical-level operations in the conduct of United Nations mandated tasks to include establishment of a new mission, setting up of a United Nations Headquarters for peacekeeping operations, setting up of of military observer sites during peacekeeping missions, protection of civilians, nuances of standing combat deployment, convoy protection, patrolling aspects and aspects related to Humanitarian Mine Assistance.

Image Courtesy: Indian Army

The 17 African countries that took part were Benin, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Image Courtesy: Indian Army
Image Courtesy: Indian Army

The Indian contingent was represented by the Maratha Light Infantry (Jangi Paltan). The exercises were spread over 10 days, also attended by observers from The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Mozambique.

Image Courtesy: Indian Army
Image Courtesy: Indian Army

At the end of the exercises, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) organised a display showcasing some of the latest weapon systems and vehicles produced indigenously. India’s Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Defence Attaches and senior officers were present at the closing of the exercises and saw 11 categories of indigenously developed defence-related equipment from ordnance factories, Defence and Research Development Organisation (DRDO), leading private sector companies and start-ups.

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