MOROGORO - Defence experts from the East African Community (EAC) partner states last week met in the Tanzanian town of Morogoro to discuss Research and Development policy. This was revealed by Rwanda’s Military Spokesman Maj. Jill Rutaremara who attended the meeting.
The two-day meeting also dwelt on the actualization of a ‘road-map on availing technical facilities’ by the partner states.
“This was largely in the context of deepening defence cooperation but more so in the process of integration,” Maj. Rutaremara told The New Times on phone from Kampala Monday evening.
On availing technical facilities to partner states, he explained that proposals have been made and they were working on the policy framework.
Rutaremara pointed out that the bloc’s defence experts were looking into the harmonization of different drafts from the five partner states to get one working document.
“For example, Kenya has aircraft maintenance facilities, why then should we [Rwanda] take our planes to Europe?” he asked, emphasizing the need for defence cooperation and integration.
Apart from the various technical defence issues, he also pointed out that the bloc’s armies could better exploit the regional grouping’s market by focusing on ‘comparative advantages.’
Accordingly, the Rwandan team in the meeting suggested that UTEXRWA (Rwanda’s textile plant) could supply partner states’ armies with uniforms.
Defence officials from the wider Great Lakes region are also meeting in Uganda’s capital Kampala over the issue of small arms proliferation and arms’ trafficking that has continuously posed a major threat to peace, security and development to the region.