Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | UPDF Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi has stressed the importance of military cooperation in East Africa as the region still faces a complex set of peace and security challenges despite the mitigating mechanism put in place.
“You all know that in the past three decades, this region has witnessed a number of long-term, severe and in some cases, inter-related crises and violent conflicts,” Gen Muhoozi told the East Africa Community (EAC) Consultative Committee meeting on Cooperation in Defence at Pearl of African Hotel in Kampala.
“The current worrying trend however, is the emergence of new conflicts and complex security challenges resulting in relapse of fragile states into a situation of instability,” said Gen Muhoozi who was the chairman of the session for East Africa CDFs.
East African partner states have ratified the East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs and are now embarking on formulation and negotiation of an East African Community Mutual Defence Pact.
The Deputy Secretary General of the EAC in-charge of Political Federation Charles Njoroge thanked the partner states for sending delegates to attend this meeting of the Consultative Committee as part of the meetings of the Sectoral Council on Cooperation in Defence.
Njoroge appreciated all partner states for ratifying the East African Community Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs and embarking on formulation of a Defence Pact.
“It is indeed a commendable achievement towards a wider and deeper cooperation on Defence affairs within our Community”, he said.
On Wednesday, Maj Gen Joseph Musanyufu, UPDF Joint Chief Of Staff (JCOS) chaired a session for his East African colleagues and also highlighted the growing threats in the region.
“Peace and security issues continue to pose a serious challenge with in the region. These include terrorist attacks, cross border conflicts, internal violence all leading to loss of lives, displacement of persons and destruction of property. This state of uncertainty is a major negative factor in the development and progress of the region,” he said.
Gen Musanyufu said that the development of the EAC Protocol on Cooperation in Defence Affairs is a highlight of the nations’ commitment to address security challenges within the region.
He said that the EAC Defence sector has achieved key milestones since its establishment and what is left is to realize the objectives of deploying in conflict spots within the region as mandated by the EAC Protocol.
Delegations from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan are in Kampala.