Eastern Africa to have Standby Force by 2015

Preparations are now ongoing to have a fully operational regional standby force to handle conflict resolution by the year 2015, regional military officials have said.
Maj Gen Kamanzi (L) and Col. Kalimba are representing Rwanda at the meeting in Kampala. The New Times/ Gashegu Muramira.
Maj Gen Kamanzi (L) and Col. Kalimba are representing Rwanda at the meeting in Kampala. The New Times/ Gashegu Muramira.

Preparations are now ongoing to have a fully operational regional standby force to handle conflict resolution by the year 2015, regional military officials have said.

The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF), formerly known as the Eastern Africa Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), brings together 10 countries, including Rwanda.

“The ultimate objective in all these preparations will be to sign the collective security treaty which will mean that once you attack one country you will have attacked all,” said Colonel Michael Nkurunziza, the EASF Head of Political Affairs.

EASF Chiefs of Defence Staff met in Kampala, yesterday, ahead of the Defence Ministers’ meeting today to lay a plan for a military Field Training Exercise that will take place in May in Jinja, Uganda.

Rwanda’s Army Chief of Staff Maj Gen Frank Mushyo Kamanzi and Acting RDF Head of Operations and Training, Colonel Peter Kalimba, are representing Rwanda at the meeting.

According to Nkurunziza, Rwanda will send a contingent of 150 military officers and 40 police officers out of the 2,150 personnel that will participate in the military exercise.

He said that once the force is operational, it will quell threats like coup d’état, post election violence, counter terrorism and timely disaster relief response on the continent.  

The military exercise in Uganda will be the fourth after similar exercises in Kenya in 2008, Djibouti in 2009, and Sudan in 2011.

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