The 12th Edition of the East African Community (EAC) Field Training Exercise dubbed Ushirikiano Imara 2022 was on Friday, 3rd June 2022 flagged off by Uganda’s Third Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Lukia Isanga Nakadama at the Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre (URDCC) in Jinja district.
She noted that the region is facing multiple security challenges and crises including armed conflict, environmental disasters, transnational crime and terrorism, among others; a reason for regional militaries to continuously work out joint training modalities to engulf these emerging security threats.
“Joint training of EAC Partner States on thematic areas, such as peace support operations, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and disaster management creates a peaceful and stable environment for the social-economic transformation of communities,” she noted.
Professor Gaspard Banyankimbona, the Executive Secretary Inter-Universities Council of East Africa (IUCEA), on behalf of the East African Community Secretary-General, thanked the Government of Uganda for supporting and hosting the exercise that will enhance cooperation in defence and security affairs.
Uganda’s Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lieutenant General Peter Elwelu, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces General Wilson Mbadi said that the exercise had gathered a total of 1533 participants from the six East African Community Partner States namely: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The newly admitted Democratic Republic of Congo will deploy ten (10) observers to the exercise.
The exercise themed ‘Promoting Peace, Security and Stability towards the East African Community Integration,’ commenced on 27th May and is scheduled to end on 16th June 2022, in the eastern districts of Jinja, Buikwe and Mayuge.
National Defence University-Kenya (NDU-K) Vice-Chancellor Lieutenant General Jonah Mwangi represented Kenya’s Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi at the launch, visited Kenya Contingent at their base camp and urged the troops to maintain high a standard of discipline, professionalism and dedication throughout the exercise.
Present during the event from Kenya were the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for Defence Hon. Peter Odoyo, Principal Secretary for Ministry of Defence Dr. Ibrahim Mohamed, Ambassador and Exercises Deputy Head of Mission Hellen Gichuhi, Kenya Contingent Commander Brigadier Benard Korir, Exercise Chief Evaluator Brigadier Jeremiah Maroko, Police Contingent Commander Commissioner Sarah Dancun, Senior Officers, Officers, Service Members, National Police Service and Civilian component.