The four day session will consider the final draft of the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security in Arusha, Tanzania.
EAC Deputy Secretary General (Political Federation) Hon. Beatrice Kiraso says the draft protocol was adopted by the EAC Council of Ministers and referred to this joint meeting of the three sectoral councils for conclusion.
Regional Security will consider policy guidelines on counter terrorism, piracy as well as detention, custody and rehabilitation of offenders.
“Securing and stabilising our region is high on the EAC agenda as all other integration efforts will not bear fruits without peace and stability,” Hon. Kiraso notes.
She says “Peace and security are key in ensuring a stable environment in the envisaged Political Federation of EAC”.
The meeting will also consider the draft EAC conflict prevention, management and resolution (CPMR) framework as well as the progress on the development of the EAC early warning mechanism.
The CPMR framework includes initiatives on prevention of conflicts, making Early Warning an integral part.
It provides for mechanisms of managing and resolving conflicts when they occur, and establishes a Panel of Eminent Persons who will serve as peace envoys or mediators.
On the CPMR Hon. Kiraso says: “It is high time we, as Africans, develop our own home grown solutions instead of looking to international agencies”.
The meeting is also expected to adopt the Eastern and Southern Africa/Indian Ocean Maritime Security Strategy and Action Plan, which has been designed to help combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.
The strategy was developed collectively by the EAC, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and International Organization of Maritime (IOC) in 2010.
The meeting kicks off at a critical time following a January 2 UN report showing insurgents had stepped up subversive activities in DRC.
The presence of several rebel groups in DRC such as ADF and FARDC has put the entire region at security risk. The UN report showed ADF and Al Shabaab coordinated the Kampala 2010 bomb attacks.