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EAC Steps Up Armed Forces Joint Training Exercise

The 11th East African Community Armed Forces Field Training Exercise (FTX) codenamed “Ushirikiano Imara” 2018 is underway in Muheza District, Tanga, Tanzania.

The main objective of the FTX is to train the participants of the Combined Joint Task Force in planning and conducting Joint Peace Support Operations, Disaster Management, Counter-Terrorism and Counter Piracy.

The region continues to struggle with terrorism, rebel movements, political instability and natural disasters such as landslides.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Tanzanian Minister of Defence, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi said the joint exercises would enable members of the Armed Forces to share knowledge and skills on matters pertaining to defence and security.

“I am profoundly pleased that the exercise has taken on board a wide range of institutions like the Police Force, Prison Service, Immigration Department, Intelligence Services, Counter Terrorism Services, Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Community Development as well as the Red Cross apart from members of military,” said Dr Mwinyi this past weekend.

The Minister hailed the EAC Partner States for their active participation in the concept development, conference initial planning, and final planning conferences that enabled the exercise to take place.

“This is a vivid testimony that you have attached considerable value to this exercise and the entire integration within our community. Indeed, it is such commitment that is likely to propel us further in our endeavours,” added Dr Mwinyi.

On his part, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chairperson of the EAC Defence Liaison Officers, Brigadier General Geoffrey Tumusiime, said that the Exercise was being conducted under the platform of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs.

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“It is in line with a series of Joint Training Exercises conducted on a rotational basis in EAC Partner States aimed at enhancing the capabilities of the EAC Partner States’ Defence Forces, Police, Civilian Components and other key stakeholders in conducting joint operations,” said Amb Mfumukeko.

“I take this opportunity to applaud the Partner States’ Armed Forces, Police, Civilian Components and all other Stakeholders for their commitment in participating in these joint exercises,” said the SG.

“I also commend our Defence Forces for going beyond the training exercises and undertaking joint operations in various missions such as MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, AMISON in Somaila, UNAMID in Darfur and other missions within and beyond the region.”

The Chief of Defence Forces in Tanzania, General Venance Mabeyo, said the contemporary political and security challenges facing the region and the word at large, calls for the regional attention to enhance the capacity to maintain peace and stability with the aim of creating conducive environment for social-economic development in the region.

“I am pleased to note that the conduct of this Exercise is yet another significant milestone towards the operationalization of our cooperation in Defence in the region,” said Gen. Mabeyo.

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