East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 11th December, 2017:
A two-weeks East African Community Armed Forces Command Post Exercise dubbed Ushirikiano Imara 2017 is ongoing at the Tanzania Peoples Defence Forces’ Peace Keeping Training Centre in Kunduchi in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The Command Post Exercise is being held in the context of the East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs. The Areas of cooperation embedded in the Protocol on four pillars include; military training, joint operations, technical cooperation, and visits and exchange of information.
Addressing the official opening session of the exercise on 7th December, Tanzania’s Minister of Defence and National Service, Hon. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi commended the EAC Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence and the Partner States for implementing some of the provisions of the Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs.
He also commended the EAC Secretariat and the Partner States for the excellent arrangements put in place to conduct the exercise in Dar es Salaam, saying, “the commitments put in are a testimony of the importance the region puts in the exercise and regional integration agenda”.
The guest of honor urged the participants to exhibit utmost commitment and discipline in order to reap maximum benefit to their respective Partner States and the region as a whole.
Addressing the same occasion, Uganda’s Defence Minister and Chairperson of the EAC Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence, Hon. Adolf Mwesige said the objective of the Command Post Exercise was to enhance the ability of the EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces and other key stakeholders to work together in an operational theatre.
“This Exercise offers a platform on which to evaluate the readiness of the EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces and key stakeholders to respond to complex security challenges. It also avails an opportunity to practice the EAC Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Peace Support Operations, Disaster Management, Counter Terrorism and Counter Piracy operations” noted Uganda’s Minister of Defence.
He noted that the changing security environment in the region and globally calls for regular training that is well coordinated especially where threats do not respect borders.
The Chairperson expressed his gratitude to the Summit of EAC Heads of State and the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence for excellent leadership and guidance the sector has always received, which has enabled it to achieve so many milestones within a short time.
He appreciated the EAC Defence Forces for the good camaraderie exhibited in preparing for the Exercise, which further strengthens the cause of East African Community unity, common defence, security, peace and development.
On his part, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, who represented the Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, said the Exercise was designed to practice participants from the military, civil police and civilians in the planning and conduct of Peace Support Operations, Disaster Management, Counter Terrorism and Counter Piracy operations with the purpose of enhancing the capabilities of the Partner States’ Defence forces to combat complex security challenges.
He said the Security challenges within the region are addressed through such military exercises that help the Armies build required capabilities. “It must be mentioned here that the EAC Defence Forces have gone beyond exercises and are operating together in several missions such like AMISOM in Somalia,” said the DSG.
The EAC official reiterated that the Military Exercise was being held at a time when the EAC integration process was intensifying on all fronts. “Our Community has strengthened its Customs Union and is now a Single Customs Territory, Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade along our major corridors have come down and Intra EAC trade has grown. Significant progress has been made on the type of Political Federation East Africa will have, which is the Ultimate aim of our Community”.
Mr. Njoroge informed the guests that all Partner States were being represented in the exercise except for the new member, the Republic of South Sudan which sent an apology, was represented by the Under Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Major General Simon Ananias.
Present at the official opening were; Members of the East African Legislative Assembly and Members of Parliament of Tanzania; Chiefs of the Defence Forces; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; Service Commanders and General Officers; Defence Liaison Officers at the EAC Headquarters; Members of the Defence Forces Contingents of the EAC Partner States, Civil Police and Civilians
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The EAC Secretariat is ISO 2008:9001 Certified