Defence Minister, James Kabarebe has called for collective measures to bring peace to the continent, saying insecurity in one country is likely to have consequences stretching beyond its boundaries.
He was speaking at the closure of a three-day symposium on national security challenges over the weekend.
The symposium sought to facilitate senior officers from the Rwanda Defence Forces Command and Staff College to interact and discuss with top government officials and other experts from various fields on contemporary national security challenges, over the weekend.
“There is a need to deal with the current insecurity situation in the East African region and the greater horn of Africa which have become the centre of several security problems this year- ranging from increased trans-border crimes like human trafficking to increased terrorist attacks in Kenya by Al-Shabab, political unrest in Burundi and civil war in South Sudan among others,” he said.
He added that such threats which are also seen in other parts of Africa are likely to have consequences that stretch beyond their own physical boundaries.
“This is why our country will continue to provide support to any intervention by United Nations African Union Peace keeping forces to pacify affected parts of the continent and beyond,” the Defence minister said.
The symposium brought together 47 senior officers from East African member states and South Sudan.
Participants deliberated on contemporary national security challenges from the policy, academic and media practitioners’ perspectives.
The symposium is part of courses learned by students during their one-year training.
According to officials, it helps participants to appreciate military courses in the context of national environment and how to work better with civil institutions to ensure national security in the respective countries.
Kabarebe said the symposium was an opportunity to help participants learn various issues discussed by experts from various professional backgrounds.
“It is my conviction that this symposium has addressed a reasonable portion of security challenges affecting the region and has prescribed some practical solutions to that effect. There is also no doubt that students have extracted some lessons that will inform their various research understanding at the college as well as their future assignments in the field,” said Kabarebe
He noted that the diversity of the participants was a clear testimony to the interconnectedness in dealing with security challenges.
‘‘This justifies the need for collective actions in finding solutions to security problems in complex operating environment,’’ he said.
Amb. Itzhak Shoham from Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel, one of panelists tipped senior officers about strategic communications, saying improved communication strategies was a tool for forces to counter terrorism and ensure security.
He also talked about the need for the military to ensure international diplomacy as another tool which offers solutions and strengthens intelligence.
Organised under the theme, ‘‘Contemporary Security Challenges: “The African perspective,” the symposium had seven sessions.