Kenya and Uganda have today completed a two day, Joint Defence Committee (JDC) engagement. The meeting attended by military officers from Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) was co chaired by the Chief of Strategic Plans & Policy (SP&P) Brigadier Richard Mwanzia and his Ugandan counterpart Brigadier General Joseph Balikudembe, in Nairobi.
In his remarks, Brigadier Mwanzia acknowledged that the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement last year enhanced the long cordial relationship between the two countries. He added that the agreement has brought about constant engagement and increased collaboration between the two militaries as partners in seeking sustainable security solutions.
Brigadier Mwanzia further underscored the importance of having a robust regional security mechanism to coordinate and strengthen the partnership between the two neighbouring militaries.
Brigadier General Joseph Balikudembe, lauded the Kenyan delegation for espousing a cordial relationship with Uganda, adding that working together strengthens the existing good relationship between the two countries. On the Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement he recognised it as the legal instrument which binds the two nations to cooperate and address common strategic security interests.
During the deliberations, considerations were made to alleviate food insecurity in the shared border regions. Noting that climate change and climatic variations had rendered the communities perennially food-insecure and limited their sources of livelihood. The resource scarcity had compelled some of them to migrate insearch of pasture and water points.
They also deliberated on establishing other social ecomnomic programmes aimed at integrating border communities.
The meeting underscored that continued cooperation increases understanding as to how both Uganda and Kenya may use military forces both in crisis and at peacetime to deliver stability and prosperity as well as shape a defence culture.
Others in attendance were Brigadier General Michael Nyarwa, Colonel David Lumumba from Uganda Defence forces (UPDF) and their counterparts from KDF; Chief of Operations Brigadier Seif Rashid, Chief of Research, Doctrine, Training and Evaluation (RD & TE) Brigadier Stephen Huria among other senior military officers.