Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ELEVEN countries of the East African region will officially have a stand-by military force

Monday, 12th October, 2009 - The New Vision [Uganda]

ELEVEN countries of the East African region will officially have a stand-by military force by next month.

This was announced at a three-day workshop in Kampala yesterday.

The force will initially have 7,000 military personnel and 360 civilians handling technical and decision making matters.

Amanda Magambo, who heads the civilian component of the East African Stand-by Brigade, said by November, the process of formulation will be completed.

“By 2010, the force will be ready to undertake any operation in the region. We are currently handling the final field training sessions.”

In addition to the five countries of the East African Community, other active members of the brigade are Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, the Comoros and Seychelles.

The joint military force will greatly contribute to the regional integration process, said UPDF spokesperson Lt. Col Felix Kulayigye.

The Kampala workshop, which was opened by the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff, Brig. Robert Rushoke, will focus on the role of defence services, regional and international co-operation, and peace support operations.

It will cover areas of conflict management and conflicts over natural resources and borders. It also aims at harmonising the training curriculum for military forces in the region, and the creation of standard operating procedures for civilian and peace operations.

The East African Stand-by Brigade will be one of the five brigades under the African Union umbrella.