Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Regional military drills kick off in Uganda


Minister Kiyonga
The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Field Training Exercise (FTX) dubbed “Mashariki Salam 2013” officaly kicked off at the weekend in Jinja, eastern Uganda, with more than 1,200 military personnel, police and civilians from 10 member states in attendance. 

Rwanda is represented by a contingent of 206 personnel from Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), Rwanda National Police (RNP) and civilians, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defence in the weeklong exercise. 

While opening the exercise, Uganda’s Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga said that the establishment of the EASF requires keeping in vision the physical availability of the troops, political and sustainable will and financial resources to guarantee collectively security, stability and sovereignty to African People.

“Without security, you can not talk of development,” Kiyonga said.

In his remarks, the Director of EASF Coordination Mechanism (EASFCOM) Maj Gen (Rtd) Cyrille Ndayirukiye said that EASF is legitimate organisation established by the 10 Member States with an objective of maintaining peace and security as prescribed by African Union.

He noted that the Jinja exercise is set to test EASF on its path towards full operational capability by 2015. It is aimed at improving interoperability of its Forces.

The participants come from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and host Uganda.

The one week field training exercise will end on May 25.


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