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Regional Military Exercise kicks off in Tanzania

Dar-Es-Salaam, 07 December 2017

About 250 military, police and civilians from the five East Africa Community (EAC) member countries namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda have officially started a Command Post Exercise (CPX) codenamed “USHIRIKIANO IMARA 2017” in Kunduchi, Dar-Es-Salaam on 07 December 2017 in the United Republic of Tanzania. The participants will have the opportunity to exercise realistic scenarios related to an Integrated Peacekeeping Mission.

According to the Exercise Director, Maj Gen Yakub H Mohamed “The exercises meant to practice Mission Headquarters, Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) and Contingents in planning, developing strategies and conducting activities necessary to resolve a crisis. It is also aimed at practicing EAC Partner States’ Armed Forces and other key stakeholders in planning and conduct of an integrated mission in order to improve the capabilities for combating jointly the complex security challenges in the region and beyond.

The Combined Joint Task Force of 250 personnel from EAC partner states commanded by Brig Gen Aloys Muganga from Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) will practice planning and conduct of Peace Support Operations, Counter-Terrorism, Counter-Piracy, Disaster and Media Management.

During the official opening ceremony presided over by the Tanzanian Minister of Defence and National Service, Honorable Hussein Ali Mwinyi, the RDF Chief of Defence Staff was represented by Maj Gen Jacques Musemakweli, the Army Chief of Staff.

In his opening remarks, the Minister underlined that sharing knowledge and experience is a crucial objective in exercises like USHIRIKIANO IMARA 2017 in order to enhance peace and stability in our region and beyond. “Currently, the security challenges facing one Partner State are almost the same, and in some cases, they are hatched from the same source given the geographical settings we are in. Therefore, sharing knowledge and experience becomes a crucial objective in the Exercise”, he said.

On his part, the East Africa Community Deputy Secretary General, Charles Njoroge outlined the objectives of the CPX “USHIRIKIANO IMARA 2017” that include among others; to enhance interoperability between EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces and other key stakeholders, to evaluate the readiness of the EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces and key stakeholders in response to complex security challenges. He said that the occasion affords the EAC Partner States an opportunity to interact and inform the citizens of East Africa Community as well as development partners on the progress toward full regional integration. “The East Africa Community military exercises have become an important event on the region’s calendar as well as a platform for friendship across the region,” said Mr Charles Njoroge.

The two-weeks training exercise brings together commanders, staff officers, police and civilians from the five East African countries and will run from 04 to 20 December 2017. Rwanda is represented by 39 personnel from RDF, Police and Civilians.

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