Kigali, Tuesday, 17 October 2017
The Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) new Director, Dr Abdillahi Omar Bouh from Djibouti is in an official visit in Rwanda from Sunday 15 to 22 October 2017. Today he was received at Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Headquarters, Kimihurura by the Minister of Defence, Hon Gen James Kabarebe together with the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Patrick Nyamvumba.
After his courtesy call, the EASF Director said that his visit to Rwanda was aimed first at introducing himself as the new EASF Director and secondly he wanted to update the Ministry of Defence and RDF leadership on the progress of preparations of a major regional Field Training Exercise which will be held in Port Sudan, in the Republic of Sudan. This exercise, which will take place in November this year, will combine the 10 member states forming EASF and having all these 10 member states for the purpose of peace and security in the region is by itself a big achievement. “We need to have all member states jointly and well in training to be ready for any intervention in the region” he emphasized. Dr Abdillahi Omar Bouh replaced Ambassador Ismail Chanfi from Comoros in this capacity and he has been in office for almost 6 months.
The EASF is a regional organization whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It is one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force (ASF) consisting of Military, Police and Civilian components. EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement. EASF member states are Burundi, Kenya, Seychelles, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Republic of Sudan and Uganda.
On Tuesday morning, Dr Abdillahi Omar Bouh visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre where he paid respect to the victims of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. He was briefed on how the Genocide was planned and executed. After the visit he wrote in the Visitors Book that” I am really chocked by this sad history. It is so sad” he wrote.
On Monday, he visited Rwanda Peace Academy in Musanze District and today he also visited Rwanda Military Academy Gako that conducts pre-deployment training for peacekeepers.