Forty-three army officers from six countries were yesterday passed out at the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka, in Jinja.
The officers came from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan. Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga, who presided at the graduation, commended the college for its work in keeping the forces up-to-date. Dr Kiyonga also welcomed the joint training with other regional defence forces.
"The cooperation shown in the joint training is aimed at bringing sanity and stability to the region. It's also the spirit of Pan-Africanism to work together and train together," he said.
He explained that the joint training sessions were a step towards regional integration of the East African Community, which would lead to a regional force. Of the 43 graduates, 31 were from Uganda while the 12 represented the other countries within the region.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Ivan Koreta, urged the graduates to practise what they learnt. The officers have been in training since February and this was the eighth cohort of graduates since inception of the college in October 2004. Some 268 officers have been passed out since 2004. The institution aims to develop officers able to lead units and formations at both tactical and operational levels of war.
Kyambogo and Makerere University, Uganda Management Institute, and Uganda Industrial and Research Institute provide external training to the officers.