EA Defence Forces to hold 9th Edition of Military Games and Cultural Event in Kampala, Uganda

The Defence Forces of the EAC Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania) will hold the 9th Edition of the East African Military Games and Cultural Event from 15 to 26 August 2015 at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala, Mukono and Jinja in the Republic of Uganda.

The event, themed One People One Destiny through EAC Military Games and Cultural Event 2015, will involve over 500 participants representing the various services of the Defence Forces of the EAC Partner States.

The games will involve the disciplines of Athletics (Cross-country Race), Boxing, Football, Netball and Handball. The event is expected to have high profile participation intended not only to popularise the event but also to raise the sporting competitive levels, thereby contributing to the highest standards within the East African region commensurate with international standards.

The East African Military Games and Cultural Week is an annual event instituted since 2005 when the first edition was held Kampala, Uganda. The second edition of the games was held in Nairobi Kenya in 2006. The objective of the Military Games is to contribute to building confidence among the EAC Defence Forces under the EAC Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in Defence Matters.

Commenting ahead of the games, the Secretary-General of the EAC, Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera has said that “when the people perceive that our defence forces are working together, carrying out joint exercises and engaging in sports activities that project mutual trust and confidence, they inevitably garner higher levels of confidence in the East African Community project at both economic and political dimensions. Indeed, our common security future is best guaranteed by the moulding of an East African soldier and a unified territorial defence system”.

He said “the success of the Exercise will widen and deepen the long established cooperation among the Defence Forces of the Partner States and also enhance the process of fast tracking the integration process”.

The Partner States are holding the Military Games under the East African Community Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Co-operation in Defence Matters which has specific provisions for Sports and Cultural co-operation as well as Joint Military Exercises, among other joint activities intended to build confidence and esprit de corps among the EAC Defence forces.

The EAC MoU on Co-operation in Defence Matters was signed in 1998 and revised in 2001. The MoU has been upgraded into a Protocol. Under the Memorandum, the EAC Partner States pursue an elaborate programme of activities, largely of confidence building among the defence forces. These activities include exchange of visits and regular meetings of Defence Chiefs and other cadre of the defence forces; joint training; joint exercises and promotion of various joint sports and cultural activities and seminars; as well as mutual assistance in disaster management, and technical co-operation.

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