Kigali, 13 March 2017
From 13-17 March, 2017 military representatives from the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) Volunteering Nations are meeting in Kigali. The Kigali ACIRC Conference aims at making final touches on the planning process of the ACIRC Command Post- Exercise dubbed “Utulivu Africa III” that will be hosted by Rwanda from 20 March to 2 April 2017.
The meeting was officially opened by Maj Gen Martin Nzaramba, Commandant of Nasho Basic Military Training Centre, on behalf of Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff. In his opening remarks, Gen Nzaramba, who is also set to be the Exercise Director, recalled the will and determination of African Leaders to find solutions to African problems. The ACIRC concept “expresses the will and determination of our leaders to build our capacity to address the scourge of conflicts in Africa and ensure peace, security and stability as well as prosperity, in order to improve living conditions of our citizens”, he underlined.
Gen Nzaramba further noted that the Command Post Exercise -Utulivu Africa III is an enabling factor for the ACIRC Member States to develop greater manoueuvre capacity and the best utilization of the available resources in finding “African Solutions to African Problems”.
On behalf of the African Union Commission, Col Ally Katimbe the Head of ACIRC Cell pointed out that“the biggest challenge for the African Union is not making decision to intervene or deploy forces,but building the capacity of most of African States to deploy rapidly and effectively”.
Col Katimbe also underlined the importance of building African capability by Africans themselves, quoting H.E Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda who said; “Building our future must come from us. External support will only come to complement our efforts, no one will do it for us except ourselves, ... We are Rwandans, we are Africans; we should be happy to be who we are”.
African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises is a strategic security partnership between the African Union and Volunteer Nations to enable the AU to intervene on short notice in a crisis that may pop up in Africa. The ACIRC Volunteering Nations so far are Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South-Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.