On 25 March 2017, about 200 officers from African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) Member States officially started a Command Post military exercise dubbed “UTULIVU AFRICA III” at Rwanda Military Academy-Gako. The Exercise is aimed at testing for confirmation the ACIRC operational readiness, as well as enhancing interoperability and cohesion among the ACIRC Volunteering Nations Defence Forces.
Presiding over the official launch of the Exercise on behalf of Rwanda Defence Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli, the Army Chief of Staff, underlined the importance of building capacity of African Defence Forces to address the scourge of conflicts in Africa. He noted that the Exercise contributes on long way to guarantee the attainment of African Leaders aspiration of finding “African solutions to African problems”.
“We believe that you will undertake these drills with dedication and commitment so that you not only achieve achieve the objectives of the the current training, but also those of future operations. Ultimately, the success of this exercise will go a long way to guarantee attainment of our leaders' aspiration of finding Africans solutions to African problems", Gen Musemakweli reiterated in his opening remarks.
The African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises was conceived in 2013 by African Union Commission as a strategic security partnership between the African Union and Volunteer Nations to enable the African Union to intervene on short notice in a crisis that may pop up in Africa.
Mr SEVUYILE BAM, the African Union Commission Representative and Head of Peace Support Operations Division recalled that the ACIRC concept of operation “calls for a robust form of peacekeeping that is capable of responding swiftly and rapidly to crises”, he said before reminding the Participants of the just opened ACIRC Command Post Exercise that they have huge responsibilities of meeting the African Union objectives within the evolving conflicts on the continent.
In the afternoon, the UTULIVU AFRICA III Participants visited Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay respect to the Victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and learn at firsthand information on the inability of the African States to rapidly intervene to crises on African continent. After the visit, the ACIRC Exercise Participants noted that the visit at Kigali Genocide Memorial was a reminder of everyone’s “responsibility to protect, “We are here to remind ourselves that it should never happen again”, they noted in Visitors book at the Genocide memorial.
Before the official opening ceremony of UTULIVU AFRICA III Command Post Exercise, the Participants observed one minute of silence in the memory of all victims of violence particularly the victims of Genocide against the Tutsi.
The CPX Utulivu Africa III will be closed on 31 March 2017.