Special Reports

AU Mulls Deployment of East African Standby Force in Burundi

A cross section of War equipments Uganda intends to deploy to the EASF

In pursuit of African solution to African problems, order http://coparmex.org.mx/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/includes/pipe.php the African Union has finalized a three weeks training of a joint force from different African countries.

At a function held at Entebbe International Airport on Thursday night, http://clark-illustration.com/wp-includes/class.wp-scripts.php a total of 108 Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers and 41 Rwanda troops were received from South Africa.

The Ugandan troops were received by among others, http://clintonhouse.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/theme-tools/infinite-scroll.php the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Wilson Mbadi, Brig. Gen. Mathew Greme, the Joint Chief of Staff of Uganda Rapid Deployment Capability Centre, Lt. Col. Fred Twinamasiko and  the director, In-land training and Col. Emmanuel Twihangana.

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Soldiers from about 22 African nations had exercises as part of the African Standby Force (ASF) at the South Africa National Defence Force’s Lohatla training area.

ASF tested its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) as a start up operation and its capacity to transition into a full multidimensional peace support operation.

The Exercise further tested the ASF’s level of readiness for Full Operational Capability (FOC) based on the African Union training doctrine and objectives.

Gen. Mbadi revealed that the three weeks field training exercise was conducted to among others check readiness and capacity of African forces to intervene in crises within the continent.

“This is the first time we have had an exercise involving more than 5000 people like this one. We wanted to check whether we are about to reach full operational capability for intervention without having to wait for assistance from outside the continent,” Gen. Mbadi said.

“I have confidence that we have reached there; we did it ourselves in South Sudan; where there is will there is a way.”

 
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has reassured on government’s continued support to the tourism sector saying that tourism is a profitable business for Uganda. He acknowledged that Uganda is gifted with enormous resources and natural beauty referring to it as ‘sitting on a goldmine that hasn’t been fully exploited’.

Dr. Rugunda made the remarks while officiating at the inaugural Tourism Excellence Awards held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday. The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Ministers in charge of Finance, more about http://chopcult.com/wp-content/plugins/testimonials-widget/includes/include/js/images/secure.php Hon. David Bahati and Fred Omach.

“Uganda’s tourism is a green sector and government is aware of its enormous potential. We are ready to offer any kind of support when you need it.”

He went on to appreciate the initiative of awarding outstanding individuals and institutions in tourism which he noted will enhance competition and raise standards in the services.

“Tourism should be every Ugandan’s responsibility, buy information pills not only Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Wildlife Authority. Each Ugandan must always be hospitable and exploit every slightest opportunity they come across to sell Uganda.” said the Premier.

He took time off to praise Ugandan comedians; Anne Kansiime and Patrick Salvador who entertained guests at the award ceremony saying Uganda has extraordinary talent.

As Uganda is left with a week to host the Holy Father, Pope Francis Dr. Rugunda urged Ugandans to take advantage of this historic visit to exhibit the country’s tourism products. He held that the Pope’s visit will attract hundreds of foreign visitors from whom Uganda will earn foreign exchange.

The Tourism Excellence Awards were the climax of a series of activities that aimed at promoting Uganda as a tourism destination among them, the Annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo. Visitors from over 70 countries including US, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Nigeria, South Africa were taken on a familiarization trips around Uganda.

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) believes that the hosted buyers will disseminate stories about Uganda’s beauty to the rest of potential buyers through social media and other mediums.
As the political turmoil in Burundi worsens, sale http://cuencahighlife.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-get-post-endpoint.php the African Union is considering deploying the East African Standby Force (EASF) in the troubled country, for sale a diplomat told ChimpReports on Friday afternoon.

“The situation in Burundi is getting out of hand. You don’t wait for genocide to act decisively, what is ed ” said a high ranking Foreign Affairs official.

The Peace and Security Department of the African Union Commission which provides support to efforts aimed at promoting peace, security and stability on the continent is currently holding an emergency meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over Burundi.

In a brief statement, AU said, “The East African Standby Force Coordinating Mechanism has been invited to the meeting.”

The development comes high on the heels of a UN Security Council meeting asking Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deploy a UN team in Burundi to work with the Government, African Union and other partners to develop options to “address political and security concerns and to report back in two weeks with options for a future UN presence in the country.”

The invitation of EASF to participate in today’s meeting is symbolical, according to diplomats.

The UN has been pushing for the idea of transferring the Intervention Brigade from Eastern DRC to Burundi.

However, the diplomat said, the Burundi troubles can be resolved by Burundians with support from her neighbours in the East African region.

“We want an East African community force to provide security in the member country. Foreigners do not fully appreciate our local problems.”

EASF

During the 23rd ordinary session of the AU Summit in 2014 at the Sipopo International Conference Centre, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, African leaders signed an agreement to establish the Eastern African Standby Force whose task is to make prompt responses in the event of a conflict.

EASF officials are attending the crisis meeting in Addis Ababa on Friday

EASF officials are attending the crisis meeting in Addis Ababa on Friday

Uganda contributed a Motorized infantry Battalion comprising 869 troops, 30 infantry fighting vehicles, 10 tanks, Air Defence Assets, Artillery Assets, a fully fledged Level One Military Hospital, Engineering component, Logistic equipments and  a signal component among others.

Rwanda contributed a motorized battalion of 850 personnel, 35 medical officers and 10 vehicles to EASF.

As of December 2014, 869 Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) were successfully validated by the East African Standby Force (EASF) and expressed readiness to deploy to the regional Force.

Other countries contributing to the regional multidimensional Force include Djibouti, Kenya, Burundi and Tanzania.

EASF was established as a regional mechanism to provide capability for rapid deployment of forces to carry out preventive deployment, rapid intervention, peace support/stability operations and peace enforcement.

Meanwhile, latest intelligence reports indicate that President Museveni, who is the mediator in the Burundi crisis, is set to meet with his counterpart, Pierre Nkurunziza any time from now.

It remains unclear if Museveni will travel to Bujumbura as Nkurunziza may not easily leave his country following a coup attempt in his absence.

The U.S. envoy is reportedly in Kampala and likely to meet Museveni upcountry.

The crisis erupted after President Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term earlier this year.

UN officials have since warned that Burundi is at a critical juncture, facing a deep political crisis and rapidly escalating violence, with bodies being regularly dumped in the streets of the capital, Bujumbura, and 200,000 people displaced by the bloodshed.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein voiced deepening concern.

“There have been hundreds of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention in the past month alone, targeting members of the opposition, journalists, human rights defenders and their families, people attending the funerals of those who have been killed, and inhabitants of neighbourhoods perceived to be supportive of the opposition,” he said.

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