The Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF), Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla, has today presided over the official opening of the meeting of Commandants of East Africa Community (EAC) partner states’ Defence Forces Senior Command and Staff Colleges at International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Karen, Nairobi.
The two-day meeting is aimed at reviewing the status of cooperation in training, implementation of previous decisions of the sectoral council on partnership in defence matters, and progress made on academic capacity building of the military officers for Command and Staff Colleges.
In his remarks, Lt. Gen. Ogolla welcomed the delegates and noted that the meeting is key to fostering bilateral and mutual relationships emphasizing that military diplomacy helps build close ties between the partner states’ and strengthen strategic security relationships in addressing common security concerns.
The VCDF noted that cooperation in training gives an insight into the available technology in a particular field and spurs the modernization of Defence forces as well as providing a benchmark to ascertain training standards with respect to other countries.
“Training cooperation creates friendship, understanding, crucial networking among the member states’ and counters the negative perception that is inimical to aspirations for continued cordial relations in the region”, he said.
Lt. Gen. Ogolla, urged the participants to structure the content of the senior command and staff course to conform with the regional strategy of seeking a lasting solution to the regional security challenges such as terrorism and emergency of armed groups.
The Delegation chairperson, Brigadier General Cassien Ntacebera, Commandant of the Kinanira Senior Command and Staff College of Burundi underlined the importance that the EAC Partner States attach to the Forum.
“I thank the EAC Secretariat for organizing this meeting and the EAC Partner States for sending their Delegates on time. This is a clear manifestation of the importance that the EAC Partner States attach to this meeting”, Brig. Gen. Ntacebera said. He went on to express his gratitude to the Republic of Kenya for the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to the delegates.
Colonel William Rusodoka who represented the EAC Secretary General said that the general objective of the EAC meeting is to enhance the state of readiness and interoperability of EAC partner States and impart requisite skills and knowledge to commanders, staff, and other stakeholders in responding to complex security challenges.
The two-day meeting will see participants go through different presentations, reviewing and sharing experiences on how they conduct their academic programs to commence harmonization of the training curricula and possible exchange of students and directing staff.
The meeting convened in accordance with Article 2 of the East African Community Protocol on cooperation in Defence Affairs and pursuant to the Defence Sector calendar of activities brought together delegates from 7 partner states that include; Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania.