Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces has deployed a training contingent to the Equatorial Guinea to train the country’s military officers on operational and logistic matters following an urgent request by the West African country.
The security personnel contingent, is composed of members of the Zimbabwe National Army and Air Force of Zimbabwe.
In a send-off ceremony on Friday, ZDF Commander General Constantine Chiwenga urged the security forces to maintain their discipline as they executed their duty.
“The Equatorial Guinea had realised some training deficiencies on their defence forces hence the request. In line with the ethics of our defence, I want you to remain professional and undertake this mission and any other additional tasks given to you.
“Internal events leading into 2016 include holding of the National Congress by the ruling party (Zanu-PF) followed by general elections. It becomes critical that you exercise caution as you safeguard the lives of men and equipment of the Zimbabwe contingent,” he said.
Gen Chiwenga said likely threats included unspecified action by terrorist groups from West African region or acts of sabotage by unruly elements.
Zimbabwe is said to be the leading nation in Africa in terms of solid security.
In the 1990s, it helped thwart rebels in neighbouring Mozambique. In the late 1990s, Zimbabwe security forces helped Democratic Republic of Congo restore its sovereignty following onslaughts by rebels.
Zimbabwean security forces have served in Angola, Rwanda and Somalia among other countries.
Recently, Zimbabwe Defence Forces deployed military personnel to provide services at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The security personnel contingent, which composed of police, soldiers and intelligence, travelled to Equatorial Guinea at the invitation of the country’s head of state, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
Bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Equatorial Guinea were bolstered in 2004 when Zimbabwe intercepted mercenaries who were en route to Malabo to stage a coup d’état and eliminate President Mbasogo.