Member states of the East African Community (EAC) on Monday reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening peace and security in the region by equipping their armed forces, police and security stakeholders with training on peace support operations.
A statement by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the reaffirmation was made at the end of the completion of the 12th EAC Armed Forces Field Training Exercise, dubbed as “Ushirikiano Imara 2022”, a Kiswahili term translated into English as “Strong Cooperation 2022”.
The statement said the two-week training held in Jinja in Uganda was aimed at enhancing EAC member states defense forces’ capabilities in jointly combating complex security challenges faced in the region.
Peter Mathuki, the EAC secretary general, said the region continues to be faced with real and potential complex emergencies, which can easily translate into threats to the social, economic, cultural and political wellbeing of the people of East Africa.
“These threats range from porous borders and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, internal strife, terrorism and insecurity and it is thus critical for the region to develop its capacity to handle such emergencies and threats,” said Mathuki.
He added that “we need unity, peace, stability and strength to defend our common interests as East Africans. This will in effect provide a conducive and attractive environment for investment and development of the region.”
The statement said the training was attended by contingents from all EAC member states except the region’s new member of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The other EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Enditem