PRESIDENT NKURUNZIZA OFFICIATES AT EAC MILITARY FIELD TRAINING EXERCISE USHIRIKIANO IMARA 2014
Bujumbura, Burundi, 27 October 2014: His Excellency, Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi over the weekend officiated at the closing ceremony of the EAC Military Field Training Exercise code-named Ushirikiano Imara 2014 held in Mwaro Province in the Republic of Burundi.
President Nkurunziza told the troops and the invited guests that “such exercises were necessary since they build capacity of our defence forces”, adding that “EAC Partner States’ militaries were already reaping the benefits of regional integration in joint operations, technical assistance, sports and cultural events, training, visits and exchange programs”.
The Secretary General of the East African Community, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera commended the Governments of the EAC Partner States for their commitment and support to the Defence sector and creating the enabling environment for hosting the military exercises.
The Secretary General disclosed that Partner States were proud of the high level of confidence achieved among EAC Defence Forces, esprit de corp, interaction and comradeship.
Amb. Sezibera disclosed that the East African region was faced with real and potential complex emergencies, which can easily translate into threats to the social economic, cultural and political wellbeing of the people of East Africa . These threats range from natural to man-made disaster, poverty and disease, porous borders and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, internal strife, and insecurity in states neighboring the Community.
Amb. Sezibera reiterated that the dangers to human life and development in the East African region were of great diversity and therefore should not be under estimated. “For that reason, it is very important to develop the East African Community’s capacity to handle such emergencies and threats to Peace, Security and Stability. This will provide a conducive and attractive environment for investment and development of the region”, asserted the EAC official.
He said that the EAC Co-operation in Defence offers great scope and prospects for the consolidation of East African regional integration and development, adding “it emphasizes that we need unity, peace, stability and strength to defend our common interests’.The field training exercise was a follow up of the Command Post Exercise that was successfully held at Muzinda Barracks, Bubanza Province in Burundi last year.Ushirikiano Imara 2014 was an integrated multidimensional Field Training Exercise conducted by the EAC Defence Forces, Police and Civilian Components in the general areas of Mwaro, Gisozi and Gihinga from 13th to 23rd October 2014.
The Field Training Exercise was designed to practice EAC Armed Forces and other key stakeholders in the planning and conduct of Peace Support Operations, Disaster Management Counter Terrorism and Counter Piracy in order to enhance their capacity in combating complex security challenges.