By Raymond Baguma and agencies
Chiefs of defence forces from the East African Community member states are meeting in Kigali today (Wednesday) to discuss the progress of operationalizing the East African Standby Force (EASF).
The four-day meeting that ends on Friday, is a follow-up of an earlier one held in April this year, according to sources at Uganda’s High Commission in Rwanda.
According to the Rwandan New Times newspaper, the four-day meeting follow the decision of the EASF Assembly of Heads of State held on June 26 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on the sidelines of the AU Summit, to fast-track EASF full operational capacity by December 2014.
Ahead of the defence chiefs’ meeting, an EASF policy organ meeting was held with Uganda represented by Maj. Gen. Francis Okello, Lt. Col. Mugerwa from the EASF headquarters in Nairobi.
Rwanda is currently holding the rotational chair of the Council of Ministers of Defence and Security as well as the Committee of Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defence Staff.
Established in 2004 with the primary mandate to enhance peace and security in the region, EASF draws its membership from ten countries; Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
New Times also reported that for the first time, the EASF meetings will be attended by police chiefs and foreign affairs ministers of partner states.
The EASF draws membership from 10 countries which include Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
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Defence chiefs meet in Kigali