NAIROBI, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Eritrea and South Sudan could join the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), a regional force with rapid deployment capacity to combat security threats, an official said on Monday.
Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Director Abdillahi Omar Bouh told Xinhua in Nairobi that the 10-member regional standby force is set to have a council of ministers meeting in December in Sudan where the approval process could be activated.
"Eritrea and South Sudan will have to present an official request to the council of ministers to join," Bouh said. "We see no reason to reject the application unless a member state objects to the application."
Since 2013, South Sudan has enjoyed observer status in the multinational standby force. The current membership of the organization includes Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.
The multi-dimensional standby force with military, police and civilian components is ready to intervene in case of an emerging crisis, with its 5,300 pledged forces, Bouh said.
The force only intervenes at the request of the African Union as a last resort, in any country facing a crisis in eastern Africa after political dialogue and other mechanisms fail, he said.
The EASF has been in existence since 2004 for the purpose of enhancing peace, security and stability in the region, Bouh noted.