KIGALI - The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) contingent for the East African Community (EAC) joint Field Training Exercise codenamed “Natural Fire 10” (NF 10) leaves today for Uganda where it will take place.
Army spokesperson Maj Jill Rutaremara, yesterday, revealed that the 133-strong Rwandan contingent is led by Maj Cyuma Mabano who is deputized by Captain Aaron Ndagije.
“Rwandan troops will set off today. They will spend the night at Bombo (Ugandan Army’s Headquarters) and on the following day arrive in Kitgum, northern Uganda,” said Rutaremara.
The exercise to run from October 16 – 25 will be held in conjunction with the US Africa Command (US AFRICOM).
“On October 14 and 15, there will be rehearsals and setting up of the camp and the exercise will kick off on 16th said Maj. Rutaremara.
As highlighted in an EAC communiqué, the exercise which will bring together more than 600 EAC military personnel in the Joint Training Exercise is aimed at promoting cooperation in defence within the bloc.
“It is a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Exercise designed to practice troops from the United States and the five EAC Partner States in disaster management and will offer humanitarian assistance to the population within the Exercise areas,” reads part of the statement.
Ever since Rwanda joined the EAC, it has been very active in all the bloc’s programmes, among them joint military exercises.
Last Month, the five EAC states conducted another joint field training session – “Ex-Mlima Kilimanjaro,” that was held in Tanzania, on the themes of Counterterrorism, Peace Support Operations and Disaster Management.
Prior to this, also in the framework of cooperation in military affairs, Rwanda had in June hosted the EAC military sports and culture week –as part of the ongoing series of activities to be conducted by the EAC this year, in commemoration of the bloc’s 10th Anniversary.
Rutaremara stressed that Rwanda has been contributing fully – “100 percent,” in terms of personnel and participation in all these high impact events.
The bloc’s Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation), Beatrice Kiraso, is quoted describing the forthcoming exercise as “another milestone for EAC cooperation in defence”.
“The future of cooperation in defence is bright. This process will deepen the levels and widen the areas of cooperation in defence”.