A Rwandan contingent consisting forty-three military and police officers is part of the team that on Wednesday completed an integrated military exercise codenamed “Ushirikiano Imara” in Nairobi.
The one-week exercise took place at Embakasi military barracks and brought together officers from all East African Community member states.
The courses tackled were in the areas of peace support operations, disaster management, counter terrorism and countering piracy all aimed at enhancing the capacity of the regional forces in combating contemporary security challenges in the region.
While addressing participants at the closing ceremony attended by political leaders and chiefs of Defence Forces from the EAC partner states, Amb Kirimi Kaberia, the Permanent Secretary in the Kenyan defence ministry congratulated all participants for making the exercise a success.
“The lessons learnt will one day pay dividends when we will be required to address emerging security challenges in our region as one nation,” he said.
He stressed that security is the key pillar in the pursuit of the EAC spirit of cooperation and full integration and called for continued training engagement among EAC militaries.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Charles Njoroge said that;
“EAC Military Exercise is a living testimony that EAC integration is moving towards greater heights and the event offered concrete hope and prospects for future integration for the people of East Africa”
At the ceremony, the Rwanda Government was represented by James Kimonyo, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Kenya and Brig Gen Charles Karamba, the RDF Air Force Chief of Staff.
The EAC Military Exercise brought together 250 participants and Rwanda was represented by 43 military, police and civilian component led by Brig Gen Vincent Gatama.
CPX Ushirikiano Imara was organized in accordance with East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defence.
Among other objectives of exercise is to evaluate the readiness of EAC Armed Forces to respond to complex security challenges with developing appropriate strategies to counter them effectively.