Kigali, 24 July 2018
Rwanda is hosting the 24th ordinary Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) Policy Organs meetings from 24 to 28 July 2018. These include the Experts Working Group meeting on 24-25 July, the Committee of Chiefs of Defence and Security on 26 July and the Council of Ministers of Defence and Security on 27 July 2018. The meetings will be concluded with an EASF Day which will be conducted through a special Umuganda in Gikomero sector, Gasabo District on 28 July 2018.
These meetings will be held under the theme “Towards peaceful and stable Eastern Africa” and today the first of these meeting, The Experts Working Group, was officially opened by the Air Force Chief of Staff, Major General Charles Karamba who mentioned to the Experts and Technical Advisors that “The EASF will only fulfil its mandate and mission if it has the appropriate legal framework, structures, infrastructure, personnel, equipment, funding and leadership. It is hence the responsibility of the Experts Working Group here present to advise the Eastern Africa Chiefs of Defence Staff (EACDS) on how to establish these instruments and have them working.”
The EASF is a regional intergovernmental organisation whose mandate is to enhance peace and security in the Eastern Africa region. It was established under the umbrella of the African Union’s Peace and Security Architecture which has five components: the Continental Early Warning System, the Panel of the Wise, the African Standby Force, the African Peace Fund and the Peace and Security Secretariat. The EASF consists of multidimensional components namely the Military, the Police and Civilian.
The EASF was established in 2004 to provide a standby capability for rapid deployment and it has attained full operational capability in December 2014 meaning that it can now undertake intervention missions.
The EASF comprises of 10-member states including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. The main EASF Secretariat is in Nairobi while the Force Headquarter is in Addis Ababa.