Ten regional countries have committed to raise a military fighting force of 5,000 troops under the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) at a pledging conference in Kigali.
The specifics of the force expected to be operational by December this year are still being finalised by Defense ministers from Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda meeting in Kigali.
The five-day meeting was preceded by sessions of security experts and their respective chiefs of defense staffs.
Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, the military and defense spokesperson said the meeting was successful as it secured commitment from members on the number of troops that would be on standby ready for deployment.
“Burundi contributed one battalion (850) of light infantry, Uganda pledges one motorised battalion, Ethiopia one motorised battalion and Rwanda one motorised battalion, and then Kenya, one mechanised battalion,” Nzabamwita told reporters in Kigali.
“All these battalions have their integral equipment and they are of a strength of 850 [personnel] each. Other than these five countries that contributed battalions, we also have other countries that made their contributions like Comoros.”