Friday June 27 2014

Uganda to provide 700 UPDF officers towards regional force

UPDF-officers-during-the-exercise-at-the-northern-border FILE PHOTO 

By Online Reporter

President Yoweri Museveni has pledged Uganda’s commitment to provide a battalion of 736 officers and men of UPDF for the East African Standby Force (EASF) and all the necessary requirements to support its mandate.
“We shall pay our assessed share of finance. The funds we lose in trade without peace is much more than the contributions by the member States,” Mr Museveni said.
The President was speaking at 23rd ordinary session of the AU summit during the signing ceremony of an agreement between the region’s leaders to establish the EASF whose task is to make prompt responses in the event of conflict. The ceremony took place at the Sipopo International Conference Centre, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
His Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame pledged to provide a motorized battalion of 850 personnel and said they would also provide 35 medical personnel and 10 vehicles.
Each of the heads of State and their representatives at the summit pledged to provide the essential requirements for the region’s force.
The Heads of State of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi signed the agreement chaired by President Kagame. The other signatories are Djibouti, Comoro, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Somalia.
Mooted in 2005, the EASF will be composed of 10 member states, including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda with South Sudan scheduled to join the force.
The EASF work to contribute to regional and continental peace through a regional conflict prevention, management and resolution capability able to respond effectively to crisis within Eastern Africa and across the African continent.
As one of the five regional multidimensional Forces of the African Standby Force, the Eastern African Standby Force will form an integral part of the Peace and Security Council and as part of the African Peace and Security Architecture.