On 31 March 2017, about 200 officers from African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) Volunteering Nations officially concluded a two weeks long military exercise dubbed “UTULIVU AFRICA III-2017", at Rwanda Military Academy-Gako. The Exercise was aimed at testing and maintaining the ACIRC operational readiness, as well as enhancing interoperability and cohesion among the ACIRC Volunteering Nations Defence Forces.
The Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Patrick Nyamvumba officiated the closing ceremony of the Command Post Exercise (CPX). In his key note address, the CDS congratulated participants for the skills displayed during the exercise. “The skills and professionalism displayed were of the highest standards” he said, while thanking also planners of the exercise for hard work and commitment.
Gen Nyamvumba emphasized that conflicts and other threats including terrorism, transnational organized crimes, piracy and mercenary activities among others remain a painful reality in some parts of the African Continent. “We have a joint responsibility to address these issues and to continuously identify and implement workable solutions. As such we cannot over-emphasize the need to have a robust peace and security mechanism to prevent and resolve conflicts in Africa”, he observed.
Mr SEVUYILE BAM, the African Union Commission Representative and Head of Peace Support Operations Division expressed gratitude to the Republic of Rwanda for hosting and very well organising the exercise. He reminded how Africa and international community in general failed to stop the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, noting that this was a lesson learnt that such atrocities ought to be prevented to repeat by all means.
He further underlined the willingness and resolve of AU Heads of States and Governments to see Africans determine their own destiny and solve crises on the continent without delay. "The CPX UTULIVU AFRICA III was conducted in that spirit", Mr Bam said.
In his remarks, the Exercise Director, Maj Gen Martin Nzaramba explained that the CPX UTULIVU AFRICA III-2017 was designed to practice ACIRC Forces' skills and procedures of fighting in built up areas using air, land and maritime forces. “The main effort was to build operational readiness capability that can be used to intervene on a timely manner, in any crisis on the continent” he pointed out. Gen Nzaramba assured the audience that Exercise met its objectives, noting that this was a great achievement for the ACIRC towards maintaining the readiness of its Forces.
ACIRC Volunteering Nations include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, South-Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.