Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

3 December 2012

Tanzania Needs Stronger Military

IN the wake of new discoveries of uranium, gas and ongoing oil exploration, Tanzania is becoming vulnerable to attacks from outside and is keen on strengthening its armed forces.

Defence Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha said here that as the country gets richer in natural resource reserves, it also becomes a potential target for enemies from within and outside the borders, including overseas countries that may want to plunder such riches.

"We have reached a point where the country's security should be of paramount importance due to recent discoveries of massive uranium deposits, gas reserves and the possibility of striking oil," said Mr Nahodha.

He added that history has proved that many states have been facing security challenges as they grow richer. The Defence Minister was speaking at the Tanzania Military Academy (TMA) in Monduli over the weekend.

The event was a special occasion during which certificates were presented and badges of honours pinned on the shirts of 42 commanding staff officers from ten Eastern and Southern African (EAC and SADC region) countries who were graduating from the Command and Staff College (CSC).

"In reinforcing our military forces we are intending to create a well-trained, fully equipped, modest but modernized armed forces. It is this outfit that will face the challenges of changing times," said Mr Nahodha.

The Defence Minister added that Tanzania will be investing heavily on military training, improved equipment and ensuring that members of the armed forces are well taken care of.

Earlier on the Commandant of the Command and Staff College, Major General Ezekiel-Elias Kyunga, advised the graduating officers to be good ambassadors of the CSC through maximizing their newly acquired skills for the betterment of their countries and people of Africa.

The 42 graduating officers were commanders of the Navy, Airforce and Infantry from South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

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