ARUSHA, Tanzania, October 19, 2011
More than 300 officers from the EAC Partner States Defense Forces are in Rwanda to take part in a joint command post exercise due to open Friday 21 October 2011.
The exercise codenamed ‘Ushirikiano Imara’ (loosely translated as Firm Cooperation) will be conducted at the Rwanda Military Academy at Nyakinama, Musanze District from 21-27 October and will involve civilians and military personnel.
It is meant to practice participants from the Partner States’ Defense Forces in the planning and conduct of peace support operations, counter terrorism, counter piracy and disaster management.
Brigadier General Salvator Nahimana, Chair of Defense Liaison Officers at the EAC Secretariat says the purpose of the command post exercise is to improve the capabilities of the Partner States’ Armed Forces to combat complex security challenges.
It will also seek to harmonize the working relationships and improve military interoperability between the EAC Partner States’ Armed Forces, Brig. Gen. Nahimana adds.
Furthermore, Ushirikiano Imara is expected to foster cooperation among the EAC Partner States and to enhance collaboration between the civil authorities in the Community and international organizations.
The EAC Partner States’ Defense Forces regularly conduct joint military exercises aimed at deepening cooperation in defense amongst the bloc’s member states, with similar exercises previously held in Kenya, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
These exercises are underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Defense which lays down four areas of cooperation namely: military training; joint operations; technical assistance; and visits (including sporting exchanges and range competitions as well as visits by the Chiefs of Defense) and exchange of information. The MoU was signed in 1998 and revised in 2001.