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East Africa starts joint military training

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th September 2009 03:00 AM

OVER 1,500 defense forces drawn from the states of the East African Community (EAC) are engaged in a regional military field training exercise at Tanzania’s Command and Staff College, Monduli.

OVER 1,500 defense forces drawn from the states of the East African Community (EAC) are engaged in a regional military field training exercise at Tanzania’s Command and Staff College, Monduli.

By Henry Mukasa

OVER 1,500 defense forces drawn from the states of the East African Community (EAC) are engaged in a regional military field training exercise at Tanzania’s Command and Staff College, Monduli.

Member states, except Burundi, have each contributed 333 personnel to the operation code-named “Ex-Mlima Kilimanjaro 2009”. The immigration staff in the EAC will also take part in anti-terrorism drills.

The exercise started early this month and will close on September 26. It will gauge the forces capability to handle terrorism, disasters and peace-keeping operations.

Uganda’s contingent is led by Brig. Gen. Silver Moses Kayemba, while his counterpart, Brig. Gen. George Etyang, is the Joint Task Force Commander of the training camp.
The executive director of training is the Tanzania Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Davis Mwamunyange, while the Chief Umpire is from Kenya. The Chief of Staff for the training is from Rwanda.

The defense ministry spokesperson, Lt. Felix Kulayigye, explained that the training followed three others; a peace support operation in 2004 in Kenya, a command post exercise on anti-terrorism in Kenya in 2005 and a disaster management course, which was hosted by Uganda in 2006.

“What we are having in Tanzania is a field exercise on the three aspects. This time we have some civilians,” Kulayigye commented, adding that each country had contributed $300,000 (Sh600m) while the remaining financial needs would be met by the EAC secretariat.

The joint exercise is being conducted under the EAC Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in defense matters, which also provides for EAC partner states’ armies to offer mutual assistance in disaster management and technical co-operation.

The MOU on defense was signed in 1998 and revised in 2001. The MOU is set to be upgraded into a protocol.

Under the MOU, the EAC states pursue an elaborate programme of activities which include, exchange visits, regular meetings of defense chiefs, joint training; joint exercises and promotion of various joint sports and cultural activities.

East Africa starts joint military training

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